Wednesday, September 19, 2012

'Crushing the Devil' Review and Giveaway

Book Tour and Giveaway! 
Come learn more about the Award-Winning Book by Pedro Okoro, Pastor, Speaker and Author and enter to win a signed copy of the book - Crushing the Devil: Your Guide to Spiritual Warfare and Victory in Christ.
Crushing the Devil: Your Guide to Spiritual Warfare and Victory in Christ 
Book Blurb from Amazon:

§ June 2012 ~ #1 Bestseller,, Miracles
§ June 2012 ~ #2 Bestseller,, Spiritual Warfare
§ June 2012 ~ #9 Bestseller,, Spiritual Warfare
§ July 2012  ~ Finalist for Readers Favorite Annual Awards, Christian Life
§ July 2012  ~ Finalist for Readers Favorite Annual Awards, Christian Non Fiction

There is an active, destructive, and intelligent enemy who will do anything to derail you from realizing your full potential and accomplishing your purpose: The devil adapts his temptations and tricks to suit your natural inclinations and desires, modifying his lure to match your lifestyle. The enemy will oppose and resist you, and may choose to stand in the way of the answer to your prayers. For those times, God has given you the power and authority to crush the enemy!

Crushing the Devil is a guide to spiritual warfare that helps you discover your purpose. Purpose which gives rise to discipline, restraint, and self-control, is one of the most fundamental and crucial tools in the journey of life. In it Pastor Pedro Okoro, (New Covenant Church, Wallington, UK) defines spiritual warfare and helps you to be equipped with the weapons needed to fight in the battle. Using several examples, Okoro shows how God allowed His people to defeat the enemy throughout the Bible over and over again.

With a challenge to examine where the devil has a stronghold in your life, Crushing the Devil helps you uncover battles you may be attempting to fight today in your own power. By understanding spiritual warfare, you learn to stand on the Word of God and use the authority given to you as a child of God to command the enemy to flee using the name of Jesus.

Unpack burning issues such as:
  • Who are we in Christ Jesus?
  • Who is the enemy?
  • What is our authority over the enemy?
  • What is spiritual warfare and what are some of its strategies?
  • How do I handle the enemy's disobedience?
Crushing the Devil dares you to take God at His Word ~ because winning the battle does not require physical brawn, but spiritual brains!

**My thoughts**

This book on spiritual warfare is quite heavy on the scripture. Of course, you cannot possibly battle the Devil without that! What I liked in this book is that the scriptures and subsequent discussions were done in a conversational manner that is appealing to even a more general reader. He uses real life examples of people who have lived extraordinary lives as examples on how you can live yours. He uses everyday examples to illustrate the meanings behind the scriptures. It helps the reader to process the information. He is obviously a well-read and educated man, as it shows in his explanations and interpretations.

At the end of chapters you are given some questions upon which to reflect. It would be helpful to read this book with a journal, so that you can write out your thoughts and answers to these questions. He also provides you with prayer features to help you along your journey, and suggests ways for you to spiritually fight. I think it would be interesting to read and journal with this book and then revisit both in six months, a year, five years, etc., to see how much you have grown. 
This Book Tour and Giveaway brought to you by Pedro Okoro and Rebecca @ Love2EncourageYou.
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*Special congratulations to Pedro Okoro for his book, Crushing the Devil, winning the Bronze medal in the 2012 Reader's Favorite Award for Christian Living! Way to go!
You can visit these blogs to read a review about Crushing the Devil:

RJ's Freebies 
Tattoo Mommies Cyber World
Uplifting Reads

The giveaway prize is for 2 winners, each receiving a signed copy of Pedro Okoro's book: Crushing the Devil. 

This giveaway is open to: USA & Canada. 

Must be 18+ or older to enter.

Uplifting Reads did not receive any compensation for writing this post. Love2EncourageYou and Uplifting Reads are not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Review of 'The Novice: Why I Became a Buddhist Monk, Why I Quit & What I Learned'

The Novice: Why I Became a Buddhist Monk, Why I Quit & What I Learned by Stephen Schettini is a well-written memoir that almost seems like a version of Jack Kerouac's On the Road, but overseas, and with a more religious theme.

Schettini's religious road began at a young age, when he was attending a Catholic school. Even then, he was questioning the philosophy of Christianity, and was able to expose some of the hypocrisy contained within, and the problem of rote memorization of doctrine without thinking of how to apply it to daily situations.

When a little older, at the age of 11, he developed a knack for shoplifting various items from stores. At his preparatory school, he was considered to be lazy, untidy, careless, and erratic. Being a teenager of the 60s, he grew his hair long, listened to Bob Dylan and the Beatles, drank a lot, and had deep discussions about what really mattered.

When someone finally gave him a copy of the I Ching for his 21st birthday, the foundation was laid for a life-changing trip to Asia, in search of the lesser known Eastern philosophies, usually ignored by those in the West.

Leaving Gloucester to Dover, then continuing to hitchhike across Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, counting on the I Ching to help him make his decisions. Along the way, he tries different drugs that don't agree with him, meets many people who do, and has amazing black-and-white photographs to document the places. He describes these people and places, so often almost demonized on the recent news, in a vivid fashion that puts you right there with him. The behaviors of the people seem to be on par with other memoirs of the area, such as Greg Mortensen's Three Cups of Tea.

Following an almost fatal illness, Schettini finally makes his way to India and Tibet, and is inducted into the practices of Buddhism. He finds a new peace in his new perspective, and order in his previously cluttered mind and manners. He then spends the majority of the next couple of decades as a leader and instructor, before finally deciding to leave to apply what he has learned elsewhere.

This memoir is well-written and easy to read. It is filled with a great deal of honesty, which is the best way to portray emotion in its purest form. It is inspirational, as the reader cannot help but question her own ideals in comparison to Schettini's. And it's simply a good story.

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Monday, September 10, 2012

Review of 'The 5 Love Languages of Children'

At my previous teaching job, ten years ago, my boss was always asking me if I knew what each child's love language was. I had no idea what she was talking about at first. Then, she finally told me about a book called The 5 Love Languages of Children. It was originally published in 1997, which would have been the edition to which she was referring. In 2005 it was updated; now it has been updated yet again in 2012.

Every child has a particular way in which he demonstrates or best accepts love. Some children respond best to that physical touch. They like to be hugged and kissed or even to have a backrub. Others thrive on "words of affirmation." They want to be told all the time what a good job they are doing, to be encouraged. Some just want to spend quality time with their parents. Some prefer gifts. And finally, some demonstrate love the best through acts of service. Each child's emotional needs are going to manifest in a different way. This book is a guide for parents to figure out what the child's needs are and how to satisfy them.

Each love language is given its own chapter for definition and includes ways to fulfill that emotional need without going overboard and having the opposite effect. Real stories of real children and adults provide examples as to how these needs can manifest. The author also points out how different it can be from when a child is in preschool to when she is a teenager.

Advice on how to discipline and educate children based on their love languages also makes up a couple of chapters. These parts in particular can help educators as they work with a variety of children. So many children in classrooms have so many different needs today. Sometimes they just aren't getting what they need at home and look to receive it at school. Teachers who are familiar with the 5 love languages can help to also educate parents as to how best help their children.

At the end of the book are resources for more information. There is also an exercise known as the Love Language Game, adapted for each age group. Groups of parents and teachers may wish to utlilize the discussion guide at the end of the book to strategize for different children.

The information in this book is familiar to me, as I have implemented the ideas for several years in my classroom. It felt good to finally read the book that explains all of it, as a sort of refresher course. I would recommend it to parents and educators.

I received a complimentary eARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This review also appears on Books for Parents & Teachers.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

'Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand' Book Tour

Here is a brief description of the book:
After her husband’s death, Roxanna Drew is left with more beauty than fortune. Now, desperate to escape the perils of her past life, she must learn to trust the dashing Lord Winn—a broken man with a past of his own. This award-winning romance by bestselling author Carla Kelly is tenderly written and sure to find a place in your heart.
Purchase on Amazon

**My Thoughts**

I do not often read romance books in this genre, which I have read is the "Regency" genre. I decided to give it a shot, though, because I enjoyed Carla Kelly's book My Loving Vigil Keeping. I will admit that it took me a little bit to get into the book. Once I did, though, I was drawn into the story.

I enjoyed the banter between Roxanna and Winn. I fell madly in love with her little girl. It's a sweet romance, with plenty of emotion to keep you turning the pages.

Meet the Author:
I’m a writer and a historian, author of a few novels and short stories, and mother of five children. My husband recently (last year) retired, and we moved from North Dakota to Utah, where we have relatives. You can learn more about Carla’s writing at And don’t forget to check out her other books:
Reforming Lord Ragsdale
Enduring Light
Borrowed Light
In Love and WAr: A Collection of Love Stories
My Loving Vigil Keeping
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Bookworm Lisa/ Kaisy Daisy’s Corner/

Gamila’s Book Review/ I’m a Reader, Not a Writer/
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LDS & Loving It/

Monday, September 3, 2012

Review of 'Connecting to the Power of Nature'

Nature has long been known to have a calming effect on the human psyche. But in this day and age of technology and constant movement, we have forgotten what it is like to go outside and relax. Joe H. Slate, Ph.D. aims to help us reconnect with ourselves by Connecting to the Power of Nature.

Throughout his book, he shares anecdotes about the power of various aspects of nature, such as stars, trees, stones, and more. Many of the experiences are his own, but he also shares those of people he has met throughout his life and work. He then outlines a plan of action to connect to the power of each natural object. These plans tend to consist of six steps, including choosing the item, stating your goal, connecting with the object, affirming your goal, and concluding the exercise to cement it into being.

This may sound like a bunch of New Age hocus-pocus to some people. And in some ways, I can agree with that. But, haven't you ever sat outside on a clear starry night, staring up at the sky, and felt a sense of wonderment and empowerment? Haven't you ever played with sand on the beach, mindlessly letting it fall through your fingers, and feel all of your cares melt away with the dirt? The exercises in this book are essentially the same thing. There are just fancier words and phrases used to explain them all.

No one says that you have to perform all of the exercises within the book, either. Perhaps you have an affinity for trees, but not so much for stones. So, use the tree and leaf exercises. Live close to the beach? Use the sand and water exercises. Meditation and goal setting cannot work if you are not comfortable with your muse of choice.

Also included in the book is a seven day Discovery and Empowerment plan. Each day you connect with a different piece of nature: leaf, cloud, sand, pebble, seed. Then you get in touch with your universal consciousness.

He also includes an appendix with a brief introduction to numerology, to assist you on your journey.

Exercises within this book can be easily adapted for use within families or the workplace, as each group works toward a communal goal of success and peace. Again, pick and choose what works for you within your given situation. And keep an open mind as you reengage with that foreign world known as the Outside.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Purchase in paperback.

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