Thursday, April 21, 2016

Thursdays: Books in Review

Answering Jihad-A Better Way Forward, Nabeel Qureshi

In the din of chaos that follows attacks like Charlie Hebdo, San Bernadino, and most recently, Brussels, many of us are left with questions. Why are Muslims declaring Jihad when their religion proclaims peace ... or does it? 

Author, Nabeel Qureshi (Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus) answers 18 questions he’s asked most regarding the uprise in terrorist activity by those declaring Jihad around the world. Where does Jihad get its roots? Is Islam a religion of peace? How can such a religion endorse terrorist activity? And what should our response be to our Muslim neighbors?

Qureshi delves into a brief but thorough history lesson of the Quran and provides insight into why the radicalization of Muslims is happening in the name of Islam and why Jihad is being enacted around the world. He clarifies the difference between Christian doctrine and Islamic doctrine in regards to warfare both current and historical, as well as, the difference between the God Muslims and Christians worship.

In light of the recent terrorist activity and the response by those who seem to have an opinion, though mostly without the kind of insider knowledge Qureshi possesses, this book offers answers to the questions most are afraid of asking but that need to be asked. Qureshi offers honest and factual answers that will take readers all the way to the foundation of Islam. Political lines are being drawn and in a time when knowledge is power-this book offers a powerful vision into what the world is facing. 

This book responded to many of the questions I, myself, have wondered whenever I watch the news and see another terrorist attack claim the lives of innocents. The burden of searching for answers has led me and many others to those with little or no factual evidence or experience for answers. Or if they do have answers its a version of unsubstantiated “truth” that Qureshi quickly dismisses with accurate and authentic proof to the contrary. I’ve come away from this reading with the kind of knowledge to help me discern what’s going on around me and who the real enemy is along with the best way to respond. 

Answering Jihad-A Better Way Forward is an excellent read for anyone concerned about who exactly the enemy is behind Jihad.

Brazen, Leeana Tankersley

Are you ready to "fall in love with your life"? Be the YOU God created you to be? Are you dealing with Soul Bullies? Ms. Tankersley touches on these questions in this book and many more as she encourages women to be their brazen selves.

Ms. Tankersley shares life experiences as a military wife (Navy) and mother (of twins) she's grown through to discover the woman her Creator made her to be. The woman she often times has suppressed or ignored because she didn't believe her desires, dreams, and hopes were worthy of pursuing.

I enjoyed Ms. Tankersley's fun and honest revelations, most of which held some truth in my own life. At the end of each chapter there's a section called Reflections & Expression where she asks some questions that allow the reader to expand on the chapter. She also gives you an idea on how you can further develop your Brazen Board-a focus board of sorts for readers to visualize the hopes and dreams they have for themselves. She also suggests 20 minutes of Soul Time, where readers can take a moment each week and really focus on the inner pinings they might've forgotten or awaken some they didn't know they had. Soul Time is an opportunity to listen to God's voice so readers can believe God created their desires, hopes, and dreams for a purpose.

This was an easy read and felt a lot like a friend and I were sharing the woes of womanhood over a cup of tea-which I usually had a mug of while I read through this book. There are some valuable truths in this book, for me: "We are never more loved than in the moment of my failings ..."; "What if I lived in the 'already' of my life and spent more time and energy exploring the garden I've been given?".  Finishing this book has me looking at the desires, hopes, and dreams I had buried deep inside and allow them to re-emerge with beautiful acceptance of belief knowing God created me wholly perfect.

You're Already Amazing-Life Growth Guide, Holley Gerth

This study guide is a companion to Holley's book by the same title, You're Already Amazing and offers six sessions that can be completed individually or in a group setting. The guide is set up to follow along the chapters in the book providing readers a more comprehensive and deeper study to "Embracing Who You Are, Becoming All God Created You to Be". 

I received this guide without the book and while I did find the guide easy to follow it was impossible not to wonder if I was missing out on a richer experience by not having the book to follow along with. Holley Gerth does offer an online video series to go along with the book and study guide but I still feel it's important to have the book. 

My review of this study guide does reflect the absence of the book. The study guide reads like a counseling session. Ms. Gerth is a certified life coach so it's understandable that is the idea behind this guide and possibly her book. I had my misgivings. I find it difficult to look at myself and my problem areas and try to pinpoint why those problem areas exist in my life. And they do. I assure you. I felt resistance to some of the exercises Ms. Gerth asks because I didn't understand how I was supposed to answer. Maybe that's the idea?? 

Ms. Gerth offers foundational truths based on Scripture but there were only a few Scriptural references within the guide itself. I missed the Biblical guidance as I worked through the revelatory process and found myself questioning my path and purpose in ways where I was left needing assurance and received none. I'm not sure if Ms. Gerth's book would've provided such assurance but my concern is that it would not. 

In the end, I'm uncertain of the overall goal of this series but cannot make a claim to its validity based on just the guide. I do know from years and years of Bible studies that I have been through that this wouldn't necessarily be my first choice. 

*All of these books were given to me in exchange for my honest review. All opinions of book are my own. You can purchase these books at the following links:

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