Book Review: Hiding in the Light – Why I Risked Everything to Leave Islam and Follow Jesus

Rifqa-Bary-Hiding-in-the-LightThis woman is an inspiration – such a beautiful soul. While reading this book, I found myself looking to heaven and thanking God countless times for his love, mercy and affection. The way in which Rifqa Berry writes about Jesus is mesmerizing. She truly counts him as a constant friend and companion in her life – a life that could sometimes be very lonely and solitude.

“Wherever the church has lost this passion and fervor, may stories like mine disturb the cobwebs that limit believers’ faith to a menu selection—when Jesus is truly the feast Himself.” – Rifqa Berry

If you are looking for a book that you cannot set down – this is the one for you. Rifqa’s words will set fire to your heart and soul. In her memoir, she takes you through the journey of being raised in Sri Lanka, and the struggle of moving to the United States, New York for that matter – right before the Twin Towers were attacked.

She relives heart wrenching moments in her life, as well as, some beautiful defining situations. After reading this book, if you are a Christian, you will soon realize how precious it is to openly read and study the Word of God.

Hiding in the Light not only relays the dangers of converting to Christianity in a Muslim household; but, it also takes you on a journey of little girl’s path to adulthood – faced with one of the toughest situations imaginable – fleeing from her family.

This account will touch your heart, and I pray it makes you say constant prayers for Rifqa, who is still in hiding. What a beautiful story of God’s power, healing and divine provision in placing iron-sharpening individuals in her life.

You can purchase the book on Amazon, here.

Here is a brief biography on the author:

Fatima Rifqa Bary, a native of Sri Lanka, moved with her family to the United States at the age of eight. She secretly converted from Islam to Christianity at age twelve. When her family discovered her secret four years later, she ran away from home—and her story made national headlines. Still living in an undisclosed location, Rifqa’s passions are prayer, missions, and people. She also cherishes long talks with loved ones over coffee and eating lots of chicken curry.

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Book Review: Running Like a Girl: Notes on Learning to Run

running-like-a-girlYou want to read an inspiring book? Look no further that this one here. Typically when I look for inspiration it is not in running books. I don’t run. I don’t like it at all. I am more of the yoga, elliptical type.

However, reading this book made me want to enjoy the great outdoors a little bit more. In fact, after reading this book this weekend, I’ve been walking every day.

Alexandra Heminsley is an inspiration. She very wittingly takes you on a journey through her life where she goes from thinking she cannot be a runner to completing 5 marathons.

I could not even contemplate that. Reading her book, makes you feel like you are actually jogging the trails with her. Which might actually be a downside because you really should get your body moving.

She vividly describes the scenery around her and discovers herself just why she loves running so much. This book is about passion. It is about drive. I guarantee that after reading this book, you will feel like you can climb Mount Fiji.

She teaches you that pain is mostly mental. And, you can really push your body to extreme limits (there are boundaries of course). I closed the cover of this book feeling a sense of fervor and a burning desire to set new goals.

In addition to stirring your emotions, the author really goes in depth about running equipment – shoes, sports bras, hair clips…etc. This book is for the novice, as well as, the experienced runner.

I would encourage you to pick up this book today or order it on Amazon. You will not regret it, and it is an excellent weekend pool read. Get the book online here and follow the author on Twitter here.

Book Review: Sparkly Green Earrings: Catching the Light at Every Turn

bookWhen you work in a pressing job, sometimes just reading a light hearted book is a good escape. Diving into this book was a true escape for me. I may not have been lounging in a beach setting for this read; but, I sure forgot I was sitting in a tiny airplane seat.

I think you will find this a quick and truly encouraging read. Being a Texas girl, loved the setting of this book – deep in the heart of Texas.

Author of The Big Mama Blog, Melanie Shankle, is hilarious. She had me chuckling out loud in her memoir of mommy-hood. You don’t have to be a mom to appreciate this little book gem.

The humor in everyday situations is refreshing. From her tale of trying to tan her pregnant body in a bikini by the pool from her cross country road trip with three kids, this book entranced me.

It took me to a place of remembering to find happiness in the everyday. Happiness can be attained in running through the sprinklers with your kids just as much, if not more, than a super awesome job accomplishment.

If you want to be reminded of the true meaning of life – pick up this book. We were placed here to bless and be a blessing. What better way is there to do that than purely loving the moment and place you are currently in! This book will have you wanting to lap up God’s goodness.

Book Review: Bittersweet – Shauna Niequist

bittersweetI have wanted to read this book for quite some time, and I finally got the opportunity to do so on a long plane ride to Texas over the weekend.

This book kept me company, along with my cute tumbler of Southwest airlines hot tea.

The cover was the first thing that drew me to this book. The vivid picture of a chocolate surround by sky blue was enticing to say the least. Yet, the fervent summary caught my attention as well.

The author writes, ‘Bittersweet is the idea that in all things there is both something broken and something beautiful, that there is a moment of lightness on even the darkest of nights, a shadow of hope in every heartbreak, and that rejoicing is no less rich even when it contains a splinter of sadness.’

This book reads more like a journal – every few pages, a new story would emerge. However, each story fit together like a brilliant, cozy patchwork quilt. It’s definitely the kind of blanket that hugs you and keeps you warm on those snow days.

Niequist is open and honest with her readers touching on topics like loneliness, miscarriage and the feeling of being broken and hopeless.

Though she talks about motherhood quite a bit in this book, it’s not just for new moms. All you single ladies will read and enjoy ‘Bittersweet’ as well.

Friendship is also a central theme. She loves to host parties and her love of wholesome food, laughter and camaraderie is weaved throughout the pages.

I love that she offers her readers hope in her beautiful book. She truly hits on the topic that ‘We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair.” {2 Corinthians 4:8}.

God is in control and he makes his children, cracked pots, into beautiful serving plates full of an abundance of fruit. We are patched up cisterns full of wine and the Lord’s goodness.

Thanks Shauna for this heartwarming, honest and poignant book.

Check out the author’s additional books, here.

Author Spotlight: Mark Batterson,The Circle Maker

circle maker

Order the book and get a look inside, here.

Praying – it is one of the most underrated practices in the Christian life. When life gets tough or even if it’s going well, we lean on our own understanding. We try to figure out a way to make things better in our own power.

We forget that praying has moved mountains, it’s caused manna to rain from the sky, it’s opened the heavens and summoned rain – prayer is one of the Christian’s most powerful weapons. Yet, it is the least used. That doesn’t make sense.

It is a practice that stirs the heart of God – and rouses his throne room. Prayer is like the stitches to a patchwork quilt. It holds us together. In Mark Batterson’s book, The Circle Maker, he teaches us the importance of prayer. He writes, “Drawing prayer circles around our dreams isn’t just a mechanism whereby we accomplish great things for God. It’s a mechanism whereby God accomplishes great things in us.” He teaches this principle through a life story – a real example – of someone who dared to rely on his prayer to God. He trusted and waited – and his prayer prevailed.

You should definitely check it out. And also – August 6th a children’s version of this book was released. This is awesome news. Order this for your kids, little ones in your lives, your grandchildren – it is so important to ingrain in young minds the power of prayer.

It’s so humbling to hear little ones come to the throne room of grace in beautiful communication with the King of Kings. The truths in this book shimmer from the illustrations, as well as, the words. Thank God for people who publish stories that enrich the lives of others.