Friday, February 13, 2015

Book Review: Becoming A Spiritually Healthy Family by Michelle Anthony

About the book:

Becoming a Spiritually Healthy Family: Avoiding the 6 Dysfunctional Parenting Styles (David C. Cook, January 2015)

We all want to guide our children into the abundant life that Jesus offers. But when we pursue the more and better that the world offers above our pursuit of Jesus, we fall into dangerous parenting habits. In Becoming a Spiritually Healthy Family, Michelle Anthony unpacks six common dysfunctional parenting styles that we fall into out of habit, lack of attention, or just oversight due to busyness. If you long to show your children Jesus but don't know how to do it, you'll find hope in this practical guide to creating a relentlessly grace-filled home that is focused on God as first in charge.

Includes Scripture guides, reflection questions, ideas for family rites of passage, and other real life family examples.
Purchase a copy: 

About the author:

Michelle Anthony
 is the vice president of Learning Resources and Family Ministry Architect at David C Cook and the author of Spiritual ParentingDreaming of More for the Next GenerationA Theology of Family Ministry, and The Big God Story. Michelle has graduate degrees in Christian education, theology, and leadership and over twenty-five years of church ministry experience as a children's and family pastor. She lives in Colorado Springs and loves a good book and a cup of coffee.

Find Michelle online: websiteFacebookTwitter
My Review:
Parents usually care about their children's health and do their best to make sure they are healthy physically, emotionally, mentally, and socially. How about spiritually? It's very important for Christian parents to help their families become spiritually healthy and stay that way. The author shows us the 6 dysfunctional parenting styles that we should avoid: having divided devotion, being permissive, pressuring to succeed, overbearing, criticizing, and being unavailable. God is writing and directing our stories and our children's stories. If we want the abundant life God envisions for our families, it's best for us to follow His script and not try to write our own. We don't have to live with dysfunction. Parenting is difficult and challenging, even more so when you have special needs children. However, God's Word and principles still apply. The author uses Biblical truths to offer us hope and give us healthy solutions for our families. The book covers several topics such as worry, worldliness, Enemy, truth, freedom, bitterness, spiritual battle, perfectionism, perspective, letting go of the need to control, brokenness, blessings, family mission statement, discipleship, traditions, and more. I like the 4 steps in responding to today's families on page 99 and I really like Chapter 9: Beyond Good Behavior and Chore Charts. Heart transformation, not behavioral modification, is what we want for our children. Gospel-living, not moralism, is what they need.

Each chapter starts with an insightful quote and ends with thought-provoking questions for readers to reflect and respond. The book includes Appendix A: The Ten Environments, Appendix B: Questions to Consider in Writing a Family Mission Statement, Appendix 3: Forms to help you write a mission statement. I highly recommend this practical, Biblically sound book to all parents, especially Christian parents!
"Children raised by the Spiritually Healthy parent often grow up knowing God, loving others, living a life of meaning, and recognizing that this world is not their ultimate home." (p. 29)
"Really good people are not what Jesus asked for. He asked for people of faith. And faith is so much messier (and harder to measure) than moral behavior." (p.146)

~I received a free copy of this book via Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. To read more reviews of this book, visit here.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Book Review and Giveaway: Team Us: Marriage Together by Ashleigh Slater

Marriage is a teamwork. From the very beginning of our relationship, my husband and I have adopted a Thai saying, "Rao Mee Rao" which means "We have us" (we have each other). We are together forever! To make "we" work, the "I" mindset has to go. Team Us: Marriage Together offers tips and advice to help couples strengthen team unity in their marriages. The author shares about her own experiences and other couples' real-life stories to show us how to navigate through trials, struggles, and challenges while keeping the team unity intact. Her husband, Ted, chimes in from time to time throughout the book to share his thoughts. Nice bonus!

The topics covered in the book include grace, different preferences, conflict, losses, parenting, friendship, commitment, and more. Each chapter starts with an insightful marriage quote and ends with five questions for discussion. The author encourages readers to make today's decisions with a long-term perspective/a desired goal in mind. How will what we do now affect our marriage next month, next year, or in the next decade? 
Our daily choices matter...they either help or harm/hinder the strength of our marriage. I enjoyed Ashleigh's conversational style, candor, and humor. I could relate to some of the stories because I've been there and done that (my husband and I have been married for almost 24 years). I highly recommend this refreshing & encouraging read to any couples, especially engaged couples and newlyweds. 
It would make a wonderful wedding gift or Valentine's gift!

"It's fine that we don't always favor the same things since we are confident in our connection at a deeper level. While we may have day-to-day differences, we're on common ground heart-to-heart. We've learned to respect, not ridicule, the other's interests." (p. 56)

"The keys to our longevity are found in those moments we decide to assume the best of each other instead of the worst. In those times we choose forgiveness rather than bitterness. On those days we offer grace, not irritation. How well we do is influenced largely by the seemingly small, blink-of-an-eye choices." (p. 151-152)

GIVEAWAY: You can win a copy of this book! Only valid in US & Canada. Ends 2/14 at midnight Pacific time.
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~Many thanks to FlyBy Promotions Blogger Network for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.