The Magnolia Story

51wiwazu2rlBook #30: The Magnolia Story, Chip & Joanna Gaines

What started as a family business has grown into a TV empire.  Chip and Joanna Gaines started their live together flipping and renting houses in Waco, TX.  And over the next decade, through sweat and tears they faced the ups and downs of their business.  But guided by an entrepreneurial spirit, honest hard work and a love for their trade, clients and each other, they have grown their business and family into what it is today: the Magnolia business and Fixer Upper show.  This is a fascinating read for fans of Fixer Upper.

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A Guide to Biblical Manhood

b004u7njdo-01-lBook #26: A Guide to Biblical Manhood, Randy Stinson & Dan Dumas

As our culture has blurred the distinction between manhood and womanhood, and now between the very difference between men and women, it is important for the church to define and defend the concept of biblical manhood and womanhood.  But what exactly is biblical manhood?  Is it some combination of the Bible with macho burliness.  Or does it consist of bible study, prayer and sharing feelings?  Our churches are suffering from a crisis of manhood.  Too often what is presented as ministry caters to and is appreciated more by women than by men.  In a recent article series on the Art of Manliness blog, Brett McKay described the feminization of Christianity?  Why is it that men are checking out in droves?  Why is it that men are bailing on the church? Bailing on ministry?  Bailing on their families?  Perhaps it is that we don’t present Biblical manhood as something that is manly.  This is a topic that I have wrestled with.  There seems to be a disconnect between what other resources have described as manliness and what resonates as manliness.  Which begs the question, is my concept of manliness defined more by the Bible or by culture?  This is perhaps one of the best books that I have read about Biblical Manhood to date.  The authors define manhood as an embodiment of leadership, provision and protection.  They show through biblical examples that these principles are an embodiment of muscular strength and resilient character.

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Chase Away Cancer: A Powerful True Story of Finding Light in a Dark Diagnosis

51p-nw22bojlBook #19: Chase Away Cancer: A Powerful True Story of Finding Light in a Dark Diagnosis, Ellie Ewoldt

In the stillness of a quiet February night, Ellie and Bob’s lives are dramatically changed by the terrifying sights and sounds of their 2 year old having seizure.  And because of this event, they came face to face with the reality that their son Chase had a very large, rare, and aggressive brain tumor.  In the subsequent year and a half, the relative tranquility (whatever that is in a family with 3 boys and 1 girl) was upended by the trials, anxieties, triumphs and heartbreaks of cancer as they struggle through a disease that would tear them apart and knit them together as a family.  In this experience, they learn what it really means to place their trust in the Lord and to walk by faith day by day surrendering themselves to God’s plan.]

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This was a very unique book for me to read; for several reasons.  Continue reading