Stepping Heavenward — Book Review

Two different people gave me a copy of the same book for Christmas this year. I figured it was doubly important for me to read it. I’m so glad I did. The book is called Stepping Heavenward: One Woman’s Journey to Godliness by Elizabeth Prentiss.

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It’s a journey through the diary of Katherine, a sixteen year old girl growing up in the 1800s. It’s completely written in entry form, with lots of embedded dialect. The entries are sometimes daily, sometimes with months or even years in between.

Katherine, often called Katy, struggles to find peace with first her mother, then her husband, Aunty, sister-in-law, and many others. But above all, Katy struggles to understand what it really means to have a relationship with God and surrender herself to Him.

I knew from early on in this book that I would take a lot away from it. In many scenes, Katy describes her “Mother” asking for help with something and Katy responds in a hasty, rash manner. Katy then writes “I don’t know why I just said that or behaved that way. I hate it when I behave as so!”

I can relate.

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This is my favorite excerpt from the book, on page 87:

“I beg you, my dear child, if you are doing this aimless, useless work, to stop short at once. Life is too precious to spend in a treadmill. Having been pardoned by your God and Savior, the next thing you have to do is to show your gratitude for this infinite favor by consecrating your self entirely to Him, body, soul, and spirit. This is the least you can do. He has bought you with a price, and you are no longer your own.”

‘But,’ you may reply, ‘this is contrary to my nature. I love my own way. I desire ease and pleasure; I desire to go to heaven, but I want to be carried thither on a bed of flowers. Can I not give myself so far to God as to feel a sweet sense of peace with Him, and be sure of final salvation, and yet, to a certain extent, indulge and gratify myself? If I give myself entirely away to Him and lose all ownership in myself, He may deny me many things I greatly desire. He may make my life hard and wearisome, depriving me of all that now makes it agreeable.’

But, I reply, this is no matter of parley and discussion; it is not optional with God’s children whether they will pay Him a part of the price they owe Him and keep back the rest. He asks, and He has a right to ask, for all you have and all you are. And if you shrink from what is involved in such a …”

OH SNAP! Guess you gotta pick up your own copy of E. Prentiss’s book to finish reading this section!

If you like books that take place in this time period (1830-1860), check this out!

Into chick flicks? This book is a great one.

Struggling on your own journey towards godliness? Prentiss can help y’out.

Love you all, thanks for reading~

❤ V

 

 

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Get Paid to Review Books

So.

I was Googling how to become a book reviewer, since I love to read books, and have enjoyed reviewing the small stack of books that I have thus far. I came across OnlineBookClub.org and was pleasantly surprised with what I found.

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It’s a site dedicated to helping authors get their stuff out there while providing a service to readers and writers all over the world to make some cash and read some good books. After establishing multiple posts and getting involved in the forum community, you are eligible for getting paid for writing short, eloquent reviews.

I just discovered this tonight, but am super excited about it and will keep you guys posted on any progress I have with writing reviews. I could do this for a living. I swear. I would do this for a living.

Best part? It’s FREE to sign up!

Want to read awesome books before they become big hits? 

Like to read and want to possibly make a few bucks?

Seeking a community of fellow avid readers and writers?

Shout out to Scott Hughes for creating this awesome site!

Check it out everyone!

Cheers ❤
V

What if it’s not about WHO you marry, but WHY?

Love, relationships, dating, marriage. Why do we do these things?

Because we love Love. We all seek to be loved; to be understood. To be desired, chased. We need love and closeness. We need avenues for us to be vulnerable. To be romantic.

Some people seek love for support. For help in everyday life. To have an extra set of physical or emotional hands to get us through the days. Tit for tat.

Some people seek lust. We all desire beauty. It’s human nature to look at pretty things. For most people, love is defined by lust. Especially for men. Oxytocin is a hormone released in our bodies after experiencing moments of bonding; kissing, hugging, cuddling, etc. that produces the feeling of being “in love”. This is one reason why lust and love can be so confusing.

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Isn’t this adorable? Love and words and books. What else is there?! ❤

For Christmas this year, my aunt and uncle gave me a copy of Gary Thomas’s The Sacred Search. I read it in all of three days. Three busy days, mind you.

It’s about love and commitment, desire and satisfaction. It explains most all of the different reasons why people marry; and discusses what happens as a result.

Is it because you’re “in love”? What does that really mean?

Is it because you’ve “invested  a lot of time” and feel it’s too late?

Is it because you “don’t want to hurt” your significant other (SO)?

Is it because you’ve “already told everyone” and feel you can’t back up?

Are you “comfortable” and unwilling to change?

Do you believe marriage is hopeless and that all marriages fail, so why bother?

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Gary Thomas explains infatuation in typical relationships and what usually ends up happening. He explains the reality of the physical bond created between people as a result of physical intimacy and how blinding it is. Thomas explains the importance of making sure you’re marrying the right person and why it’s OK to postpone the wedding if you feel you’re in too deep.

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Gary lays down easy-to-read “how-to” steps in seeking marriage and a loving relationship. He advises the reader on what to look for in an individual, but also what to look for in one’s self.

In chapter 11, Thomas lists some key traits that every SO should have in order to be a sustainable partner for 50-60 years.

“This person:

is humble

is forgiving

resolves conflict in a healthy way

knows how to communicate

prays

is skilled in the art of friendship” (Thomas p. 143).

Thomas highlights the importance of not hastily jumping into marriage, but taking slow measures to cultivate a relationship that will flourish well beyond any human years on this planet. By setting ourselves up for an eternal relationship, with God at the center, we will find success.

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If you are in a relationship and are thinking about getting married this book is for you.

If you are single and thinking about getting married this book is for you.

If you are in an unsatisfactory marriage and seeking tips on how to strengthen your relationship this book is for you.

If you are in a satisfactory marriage and seeking tips on how to strengthen your relationship this book is for you.

Not all marriages fail. In life, we reap what we sow, and haste makes waste. Check out Gary Thomas’s The Sacred Search to learn how to cultivate a lasting relationship, with time and careful consideration.

Hope you enjoyed this post! “Like” to see more posts like this one!

Love you all! 🙂

❤ V

It’s Not What You Think book review

Jefferson Bethke’s second book It’s Not What You Think has been on my wish list for months. I finally splurged and bought it for myself in the beginning of December, as an early Christmas present. I also bought my best friend, Alex, a copy (which she has yet to receive)– it’s comin’ girl!!

It was definitely worth waiting for. Jeff’s style is very simple. He’s on the money when he speaks and writes. To the point. And he’s totally himself. He’s true and authentic, doesn’t beat around the bush, and is very relatable; as a fellow 20something in this day in age.

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He has a refreshing way of looking at traditional beliefs that make them interesting again. Chapter 5 is all about the Sabbath and how important it is to celebrate it. He also discusses what the Sabbath is actually intended for, and how the design of the week makes sense. Sabbath is for resting, but it’s also for playing, celebrating, worshipping, praising, being with family and friends and enjoying good food, drink and conversation.

Chapter 6 is about worship, and which god people are worshipping. Everyone has a god, whether it’s love, money, sex, exercise, science, power. Bethke makes you question who’s on the pedestal, and whether or not that god is fulfilling you or keeping your life empty and average.

In Chapter 8, he talks about scars, and how every scar tells a story of healing. How we must embrace our scars and be glad that they’re no longer open wounds. They’re healed, we learned something from them, and they make us who we are:  a real human with a real history, who suffered real pain.

Are you someone who’s unsure which god you’re worshipping? Check dis out

Are you wondering why so many people believe in Jesus Christ or would want an identity in Him? Dis is for you

Are you unfulfilled and trying to find a satisfying lifestyle? Read it!

Check out Jeff’s first book:

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and his 4-minute YouTube video that goes along with the book:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IAhDGYlpqY

Thanks for watching! Love you all~

❤ V

Have you met the Bondage Breaker?

I just finished reading another awesome book by Neil Anderson, author, pastor, professor of theology among many other things.

“The Bondage Breaker” offers a Christian explanation as to why we think and behave the way we do. It discusses how spiritual warfare interferes with our everyday lives, and what we can do to address these issues and free ourselves from the spiritual bondage we are in.

>>>Check out my other book review on Neil’s Book “Victory Over the Darkness”! <<<

bondagebreaker

Anderson’s writing is clear and communicable, as well as easy to relate to. He gives real life examples of people under most every type of possible bondage that we struggle with; addiction to drugs/alcohol, pornography, eating disorders, abortion, suicide, homosexuality and others. Anderson helps the reader understand how and when the bondage may have been formed, and gives direction on how to break free and find truth in Jesus Christ.

The main stress of this book is that as believers, we are children of God and God’s love and forgiveness can never be taken away from us. If we learn how to become strong in our identity in Christ by depending on Him and choosing Him, we can let go of our bondage and be set free by the gospel.

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Do you or someone you know have behaviors and/or thought patterns that you can’t seem to get out of/break away from? This book is for you.

Do you often feel worthless, unworthy or that there’s no real point to living? This book is for you.

Do you find yourself doing the exact thing that you promised yourself you would not do and then feeling remorse? This book is for you.

Read Neil Anderson’s “The Bondage Breaker” today!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed this post. Make sure to return again for more posts on God, existentialism, love, food, adventure and more!

❤ V