The Bookshelf: The Dream of You

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Totally took this lovely image from a Facebook page since all my product shots looked rather lame.

Who were you before you started to listen to everyone else?

What dreams did you have before the world talked you out of them?

Who did you become to negotiate your way through the world?

These are the piercing questions trainer, speaker and author Jo Saxton explores in The Dream of You: Let Go of Broken Identities and Live the Life You Were Made For.

Jo weaves her own story with those of biblical figures who were confronted with challenges to their God-given identity. Each chapter brings depth to the biblical accounts, and pointed questions designed to push the reader to examine how she has changed her life to adapt to the world around her rather than pursue her true God-given identity.

Fortunately, Jo doesn’t leave us in this state of self-examination. Rather, she offers a way forward in community that ultimately, with a lot of work and prayer, brings us back to the women we once were.

I appreciated not only Jo’s vulnerability in sharing her story, but also the depth with which she presented the stories of the men and women of the Bible. Too often in Christian publishing these days, the stories are given surface-level treatment to back up previously drawn conclusions. I had the distinct impression throughout her book that Jo allowed the Scriptures to guide her.

Some passages will resonate with some people. Others will not.

But you will not walk away from this book without thinking about who you once were, what you once dreamed and how you went off course.

And you can’t walk away from this book without knowing that God sees you and is ready to set you back on the path to reclaim those dreams.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of The Dream of You in exchange for my unbiased review.

The Bookshelf: Christ Chronological

 

I’ve always wanted to read the gospels in chronological order. There are reading plans available all over the Internet and in apps that guide you in doing just that, but these never clicked for me.

Christ Chronological changes that.

Where the reading guides and apps have the reader scrolling from screen to screen or flipping through the pages of the Bible, this volume puts the passages in chronological order for you. Where only one gospel records the scene from the life of Christ, the passage stretches across the page. Where two or more depict the scene, the passages are presented in side-by-side columns.

Throughout the beautifully-designed book, there are headings to delineate between scenes as well as brief commentaries that explore the differences in the accounts and the motivation of the author in their choice of which details to include and which ones to omit from their gospel. The passages are also color coded to allow the reader to know instantly which gospel they are reading.

Another added bonus is the blank, lined pages are included at the back to allow you to write in your own notes.

Christ Chronological is an excellent resource for group study or individual reading. It would be fascinating to use it in a small group or Sunday school setting to further and more deeply explore the life of Christ.

Personally, I am planning to break the book down into daily readings for Lent which should put the pages on the last week of the life of Christ into the final week before Easter. What better way to prepare to celebrate the Resurrection!

Disclaimer: Thank you to B&H Publishing for providing me with a copy of Christ Chronological in exchange for my unbiased review.