Book Review: This Beautiful Mess: Practicing the Presence of The Kingdom of God

By Rick McKinley


There is so much junk in this world! As Pastor and Author Rick McKinley explains his experiences in Portland, Oregon, you are faced with the reality of how horrid sin has overtaken in this world. He strives to direct us to creating heaven on earth but before just programs it is a mindset, a mindset to be optimistic in looking at the world as a place for hope to impact more than fear. This is a place where darkness must fear faith.

McKinley offers his insight in a three parts titled: 1) Discovering the Kingdom 2) Re-visioning Life in the Kingdom and 2) Practicing the Presence of the Kingdom. At the end of every chapter he includes “Visions” allowing many to share their encouraging and thought-provoking writings.

My favorite part is “Alive in a Million Mysteries” as an educator it is sometimes hard to get students to stop and see the mystery of life in every living thing. We sometimes grow up to, more often than not, take everything for granted. Jesus is the King of creation!

I found This Beautiful Mess: Practicing the Presence of The Kingdom of God an eye-opening reminder of living life to the fullest with peace of mind.




I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this unbiased review.

Book Review: The Christian Alphabet

By Tracy Sands


If you are looking for a good resource for helping you guide your child or class through the alphabet with faith, hope, and love, you got it! Tracy Sands has used her expertise as an Art Education major to create this “meaty” text with plenty of options to teach. She uses the text to teach the gospel but anyone teaching a child can incorporate the scriptures, alphabet, art, symbols, and prayers into a wonderful lesson. The table of contents is in alphabetical order with each letter representing a word from A-Always to Z-Zion! “Love the Dove” guides you through the text on each section where you will find a definition to each letter/word, a scripture, and a guided prayer. Sands did a good job incorporating art into the words representing each letter but I did find it a bit antiquated for the artwork integrated into the books today’s time. That obviously is just my personal preference being that I enjoy more modern looking artwork. She also explains on the opposite page of each lesson and prayer page the reason behind her art and the symbols she used, labeling the art work with key words that you can look up in the back of the book for explanations. As I read through the symbology section in the back I learned quite a few things myself. I am sure this will minister to a child of God of any age 2-92!
Purchase at Amazon:
Purchase online: www.The ChristianAlphabet .com
The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of the book through BookCrash for a fair review.

Book Review: Draw The Circle by Mark Batterson

Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge by Mark Batterson

I have not had the opportunity to read the partner book Draw the Circle, but this devotional is wonderful.  In depth and thought-provoking this devotional touches on details of the Word that are unique. Mark Batterson points out wonderful tidbits of information that make you realize how blessed you are and yet how much more blessed you can be if you take this 40 day prayer journey.

It prefaces the devotional by mentioning that Bill Rights stated that if you are seeking revival follow these steps: 1) lock yourself in your room, 2) get on your knees 3) draw a circle around yourself and 4) pray for the revival to start within that circle first!  In reviewing this book, I committed to devote my next 40 days to prayer. You will enjoy this book if you do the same. You should be prepared to commit and heighten your relationship with Christ, even though spiritual controversy may come as you seek God. Yet, you learn that through faith we overcome all things. In retrospect I see that the answers to prayers not only came but even when feeling attacked those battles were overcome faster than before.

As I went through the 40 days devotional I felt that I should start sharing them with my students. We really began to camp out on the chapter that asks us to have the audacity to ask God for our dreams and then to take steps toward them. We decided to ask Him for crazy good stuff and it has lifted up these middle school students with amazing hope and I can see God moving in this group more than before.  I believe you will not be disappointed.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.