(Review) She’s Got The Wrong Guy: Why Smart Women Settle by Deepak Reju

 

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Publisher and Publication Date: New Growth Press. October 16, 2017.
Genre: Christian nonfiction, dating, relationships.
Pages: 192.
Source: Complimentary paperback copy from New Growth Press and Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to leave a positive review.
Rating: Good.

Landing page for the book tour: She’s Got The Wrong Guy.

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Author Info:
Deepak Reju, MDiv, PhD, serves as the pastor of biblical counseling and families at Capitol Hill Baptist Church (CHBC) in Washington, DC, as well as president for the board of directors of the Biblical Counseling Coalition. He is the author of several books and articles, including “Great Kings of the Bible: How Jesus Is Greater than Saul, David and Solomon,” “The Pastor and Counseling,” and “On Guard: Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse at Church.” Deepak and his wife Sarah have been married since 2001 and have five children.

Summary (courtesy of Litfuse Publicity Group):
The control freak. The angry man. The lazy guy. The unteachable guy. The promiscuous man. The unbeliever. The lone ranger. The unchurched guy. The new convert. The commitment-phobe.
For any woman who has struggled with failed relationships, this may seem like a familiar list. These are the men your friends and family have in mind when they think, “she’s with the wrong guy.” And while the reasons women choose these types of men are complicated and varied, ultimately, they will all let you down.
In She’s Got the Wrong Guy, Deepak Reju offers a different kind of dating book, discussing the types of guys women should not marry and offering biblical reasons why they aren’t suitable spouses. Writing from his years of experience as a pastor and counselor, Reju shares with women his perspective on how to assess a relationship’s strengths from the beginning, how to identify possible pitfalls, and how to have the courage to wait for a relationship that will be a blessing for both of you. Using stories that single women can relate to and highlighting contemporary issues in the modern world of dating, Reju gives readers clear, biblical direction on how to have positive, life-giving relationships with members of the opposite sex.
With a strong, Christ-centered focus, women will better understand why they “settle” for less than what God intends for their romantic relationships and learn to put their hopes and find their happiness in Jesus, not marriage

My Thoughts:
I have many thoughts!
I am 53, and have been married almost 35 years. I married the wrong guy but have stayed in the marriage despite the hardship. I was 18 when I married. Many things came to “light” in the first year of marriage, but by then a baby had arrived, and then another baby two years later. We’ve had some good times but have had some awful times. At age 18, I was not mature enough to make a decision regarding serious relationships, much less marriage. Plus, I married a young man who was hiding his “other life.” This “other life” came out after we were married in what I will call confessions. (I could write a book about my own life.)

I wanted to read, She’s Got The Wrong Guy, because I enjoy reading subjects from a variety of genres.

I want to clarify:
The reading audience is for women.
The main message is for women who are dating.
The book does not disclose help for women already married.
The book is not intended for women who are not looking for a Christian husband.

In part one, Reju reminds us of the culture of our era. Dating has changed dramatically from previous generations. The current generation utilizes social media to find a dating partner. But, Reju made a valid point in stating people, “hide behind a screen.” This is a point that people know but need reminding of. People always put forward their best, and behind a screen they can project whatever they wish.
In part two (chapters 5-14), Reju begins listing several different types of wrong guys. Some examples of wrong guys: “The Control Freak”, The Angry Man”, “The Lone Ranger”, and “The Passive Man.”
In part three, a chapter on breaking up with the bad guy, being patient for the right guy, and the final chapter on grace for the current situation.

I feel this is a good book for a single woman. Read it cover to cover or as a reference book. It is a good book to read and discuss with other female friends.
However, there are a few things I did not like. Chapter 11 is “The Lone Ranger.” In this chapter, a couple is introduced where she is the outgoing type and he is the reserved type. She doesn’t understand why he is not “more” friendly with people at church. She wants him to have a strong interest in involvement at church beyond just attending. He is not interested in staying after church for longer than a few minutes. She is put off and wants to have a conversation about his priorities.

Jonathan is a loner. He doesn’t see the need for others, and because of that, he doesn’t do the hard work of developing deep, meaningful Christian relationships. When he gets together with friends, they talk about work, sports, and weather, but no one asks any deeper questions. Real Christian love is not comfortable, but is willing to be engaged with one another and take risks. Genuine Christian love is not convenient, but is willing to be inconvenienced for the sake of Christ…Jonathan does not see the need for discipling or accountability.  Page 96.

Reju states, “Jonathan doesn’t value Christian relationships.” Page 97.
There may be other problems with this situation than, “Jonathan doesn’t value relationships.” For example: he may not be interested period in staying after church, he wants to go home. What might help is one Christian male friend who will hang out with Jonathan, like play golf together or watch sports. Jonathan may be the type of personality that is never going to be interested in the small group (several people in a group considered to be small-12 or less.) He is more one on one. Another problem is Jonathan may have intimacy issues. He is holding back in revealing any deeper part of him. He may hold back on intimacy with all people. Another problem is Jonathan is probably an introvert. He is not comfortable in a large group for long periods of time. He needs time afterwards to recharge quietly. And my last observation, just because people hang out at church afterwards or even attend small groups, this does not mean they are spiritually deep. Those who are apart of hanging out like to talk. What they talk about may or may not be spiritual in nature. Reju explains it is important to have accountability. When people are in relationships with other Christians there is encouragement for growth which includes accountability. In theory I believe this. But this is not always the case. Real accountability comes from reading and studying God’s Word.

Reju makes a strong point: the emphasis of our lives is not to get married but to worship God. The relationship we have with God is the most important relationship we will have. Getting married is secondary.

Final Thoughts:
I have observed married couples and found a few things that I believe are important.
1. The couple see each other at eye level. I do not mean physically at eye level. But both have a mutual respect and admiration for one another. When a person respects another, they are not going to overspend money or betray.
2. Compatibility. This encompasses several things. For example, is one a neat freak and the other messy? One will eventually blow-up or rebel. However, other factors are important: political and religious beliefs, money matters, career (some careers require long work hours), and children (how to raise the children).
3. Sex and affection. For some men sex is affection. And an important factor, will one partner have a stronger interest in sex more than the other?
4. Common interests. Does the couple have at least one thing they like to do together. For example, playing sports or watching sports.

 

(Review) KJV, Know The Word Study Bible from Thomas Nelson

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Publisher and Publication Date: Thomas Nelson. September 12, 2017.
Genre: Bible.
Pages: 1888.
Source: Complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson for this review.
Rating: Very good.

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Christian Book Distributor

Further links of interest:
Official King James Bible online
The Story Behind The King James Bible, Christianity Today

Thomas Nelson’s KJV, Know The Word Study Bible Kindle Fire Giveaway!

KJV Know The Word Study Bible Thomas Nelson 

About Thomas Nelson:
In business since 1798, Thomas Nelson is one of the oldest Bible publishers in the world and the largest publisher of the King James Version. Their mission is to inspire the world by using our talents, assets, opportunities, and influence to engage and equip people with Scripture and draw people to a deeper study and understanding of God’s Word.
Find out more about Thomas at https://www.thomasnelsonbibles.com.

Summary: *Courtesy of Thomas Nelson.
Gain a greater understanding of the Bible book by book, verse by verse, or topic by topic.
The study of God’s Word can be easy and rewarding if you break down the Bible into easy-to-understand segments. The KJV Know the Word Study Bible offers three easy ways to begin studying Scripture and helps individuals transition from being a casual reader of the Bible to becoming a regular student of the Bible. You can choose to study the Bible book-by-book, verse-by-verse, or topic-by-topic; each path offers powerful insights that will help you develop a daily routine of Bible study.
The book-by-book series of notes leads you through the main points of each book of the Bible. The verse-by-verse notes help you to dig deeper into God’s Word. The topic-by-topic articles, which cover 21 theological topics, guide you through a series of insightful notes and give you a thorough biblical understanding of each topic. With the beautiful and timeless text of the KJV translation, the KJV Know the Word Study Bible offers you choices of how to study Scripture and grow in your relationship with Christ.
Features include:
-King James Version Bible text
-Three easy approaches to study the Bible: 1. Book by Book; 2. Verse by Verse; 3. Topic by Topic
-Insightful introductions for each book of Scripture
-Words of Jesus in red
-Beautiful two-color interior page design
-Comprehensive list of theological notes
-Concordance
-Full-color maps
-8-point type size

To learn more about the Bible from the publisher: KJV Know The Word Study Bible.

My Thoughts:
I love reviewing Bibles. I love reading and pouring over the various translations. I love seeing how the Bibles are arranged, as far as supplemental information. I love reading about the original manuscripts or texts used for a particular Bible. And, I love reading God’s Word. My favorite Bible translations are King James Version, New King James Version, English Standard Version, and Christian Standard Bible. I prefer to have a hardcopy of the Bible. I know many people love having the Bible on their cell phone or tablet. My pastor gives his sermon using an IPad. A few of my favorite online Bible sites are Bible Gateway, Bible Study Tools, Bible, ESV, CSBible, and YouVersion.
Although I did not give KJV, Know The Word Study Bible an excellent rating. I did give it a very good rating.
Reasons for a favorable rating:
•Easy to read type-font in bold print.
•Introduction page for all the Bible books.
•Study Bible explanatory footnotes located at the bottom of the Bible pages. The print in this section is small but readable.
•Topic-by-Topic Articles. Examples of these articles: “The Holy Spirit-Agent in Creation,” “People Are God’s Prized Creation,” “The Bible is to be Stored,” and “God’s Will.” The topics are broken down and dispersed through the whole Bible to give an “entire sweep of Scripture.”
•Highlighted areas in the Bible titled “Study The Book.” From Matthew 26:26-29, “The Lord’s Supper is a sacred practice.” From 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, “Every member of the church matters.”
•78 pages of concordance.

My review copy is hardcover. Behind the glossy book cover flap is a dark gray cloth over board. The book easily lays open flat. The pages are off white and matte. This last observation is beneficial, because the pages do not have a glare to them from the sun or bright light. The pages are easy to turn.
The KJV, Know The Word Study Bible is not a journaling Bible. The pages are too thin for painting and coloring. There is scant amount of space for writing—1/2 inch width on all margins of pages.
The Bible does not have a foreword section—giving information about the original texts used for this Bible. The foreword is brief, only giving information about Thomas Nelson’s supplemental material for this Bible. The foreword contains 1 1/4 pages.
I consider the KJV, Know The Word Study Bible to be a modest study Bible. This is not a bad thing. It is not equivalent to the ESV Study Bible which is thorough. The KJV, Know The Word Study Bible is a beginning study Bible—for an audience of KJV Bible reader’s who do not want a large amount of study material to read through, but with an emphasis on the King James Version with supplemental notes.

 

(Review) A Small Book About A Big Problem: Meditations On Anger, Patience, And Peace by Edward T. Welch

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Publisher and Publication Date: New Growth Press. September 27, 2017.
Genre: Christian nonfiction. Anger.
Pages: 186.
Source: Complimentary copy from New Growth Press for this review. I was not required to leave a positive review.
Rating: Excellent.

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Link at New Growth Press to read more info: A Small Book About A Big Problem.
To read a sample of the book (the first 7 pages): A Small Book About A Big Problem.

About The Author:
Edward T. Welch, M.Div., Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). He earned a Ph.D. in counseling (neuropsychology) from the University of Utah and has a Master of Divinity degree from Biblical Theological Seminary. Ed has been counseling for over thirty years and has written extensively on the topics of depression, fear, and addictions.
Ed Welch’s biblical counseling books include Shame Interrupted; When People Are Big and God Is Small; Addictions: A Banquet in the GraveDepression: A Stubborn DarknessCrossroads: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from AddictionRunning Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest; and When I Am Afraid: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Fear and Anxiety.

Summary:
*This summary is from the information page at New Growth Press.
“How many times today have you been irritated? Frustrated? While you might not think about it often, if you look closely at any day most everyone can find anger in their actions and attitudes. Something spills or goes missing, we get stuck in traffic or someone cuts us off on the road, or we feel like the people we live and work with are only making our lives more difficult. And while no one wants to get angry, what happens when our irritations and frustrations rise yet again?
Anger is so common—yet it also hurts. It not only leaves a mark on us, but it also leaves a marks on others. The wounds we inflict on ourselves and others because of anger—loss of intimacy, trust, security, and enjoyment in our closest relationships—give us compelling reasons to look closely at our anger and think carefully about how to grow in peace and patience.
But if you, like many others, have just gotten irritated for the umpteenth time today, you might wonder if change is possible. Can anyone truly find peace? The answer is yes, but you will need a plan. Biblical counselor and psychologist Ed Welch invites readers to take a fifty-day journey that unpacks anger while encouraging and teaching readers to respond with patience to life’s difficulties. Readers will also be introduced to Jesus, the key to any plan for change. Known as the Prince of Peace, he is the only one who can empower his people to grow in patience, peace, and wholeness.
Provides short, daily meditations that encourage readers to look carefully at how their anger affects them and others.
The fifty-day reading plan gives ample time for readers to unpack the underlying causes of irritation and frustration and develop a Spirit-led plan for growth.
Offers encouragement and helps readers to develop the skills to deal with the universal problem of anger and respond with more patience to life’s difficulties
Christ-centered teachings give readers hope that they can change not based on their own efforts, but through the work of Jesus and his indwelling Spirit.
A useful tool for pastors, counselors, and lay helpers who are working with people who struggle with a short fuse.
What Is the Product for?
A Small Book about a Big Problem offers hope for change to people struggling with irritation and frustration and its effects on themselves and others. With fifty short, daily meditations, readers are provided with an easy-to-follow plan that gives them enough time to unpack the underlying causes of their irritation and frustration, as well as encouragement and skills to respond with more patience and peace to life’s difficulties. Centered around Christ, the work and teachings of Jesus give readers hope they can change not through their own actions, but through the life and spirit of the Prince of Peace.
Who Is the Product for?
While anger is a universal issue that everyone deals with, A Small Book about a Big Problem is written for people who recognize the destruction anger is causing to their lives and relationships, but do not know how to change. With fifty short, daily meditations that serve as a plan to deal with anger and its underlying causes, biblical counselor Ed Welch also provides readers with encouragement and skills to respond to life’s difficulties with more patience. Also a useful tool for pastors, counselors, family, and friends of people dealing with anger issues, this book offers hope through the life and work of Jesus that change can happen and peace is possible.”

My Thoughts:
My dad had a big problem with anger. Anger was always just below the surface. Even if he had a smile on his face, anger could be seen in his eyes. As a little girl, anger scared me, because I lived in a house with a tyrant. The rest of my family and I walked on egg shells. When dad questioned us we never gave the “right” answer, we gave the answer dad wanted us to give, which was the answer that hopefully would not make him more angry. I have a few memories where dad was relaxed and happy. His laugh was infectious. In Dad’s final years, I cared for him and we lived together. He was a sweetheart. He had a twinkle in his eye. I’m thankful the final years with dad covered the hard years of my childhood.
In growing older, I’m learning about why people act the way they do, and more importantly how I should react. One of the things I don’t think I’ll ever understand is why some people just want to stay angry. It doesn’t matter what I say or do they want to be angry and stay angry; and further, they want me to be angry and fight with them. Dealing with difficult people in my life is what led me to want to read and review: A Small Book About A Big Problem. Reading the book will not change difficult people, but it will help me to know how to handle certain situations.

To be angry is to destroy. Page 1.

What I love about the book:

1. 50 bite size chapters. Small enough to fit in a purse or backpack. Small enough to not be intimidating. Small enough to digest its content.
2. The size is small; the content is huge.
3. The first chapter that stood out to me is chapter 6: “The Many Faces of Anger.” I never realized “eye-rolling, gossiping, and grumbling” are anger behaviors. These descriptions fall under “covert anger.” “Cold anger” is the “silent treatment, withdrawal, and indifference.” “Hot anger” is “jealousy, wrath, war, murder, quarrels, rage, and attacks.” Welch encourages defining “words that fit your anger and listen to what you are really saying.” For example, when gossiping we are essentially judging.
4. Chapter 7 encourages wisdom: “Run toward Wisdom.” I love love love this chapter! Humility is a big theme. Welch states that humility is not what we want to do. “Instead, it is the foundation for all wisdom.” Page 26.
5. Chapter 15 and 16 showed me how Jesus acted when angry, and why He acted angry, and it showed me times when He could have acted angry and was not. “He never got angry because his personal desires were violated. Ever.” Page 54.
6. Chapter 23 encourages speaking to the Lord about our anger. “You must speak to Him.” Page 83.
7. In chapter 26, we must understand “our cancelled debt and His great love.” Page 97. When we understand the debt He paid, we will “see our angry reactions as intolerable.” Page 97.
8. In the last chapter, we are given the commission to “build up and strengthen the people God puts before us…”

Favorite quotes:

If we think we are keeping our anger controlled and private, we are not. Anger will assert itself. It refuses to be contained. If anger is in our hearts, it has our hearts. It will come out of our mouths, and it will hurt others. Page 24.

Anger looks down from the judge’s perch; wisdom comes down from those heights and looks up from below. Humility captures it. Humility looks beyond ourselves and asks about others. Whereas anger destroys, humility builds up. It has the best interests of others in mind. Page 25.

The course of our lives always travels in one of two directions, either toward wisdom or toward foolishness. The path toward foolishness is easy. All you have to do is follow your desires. But anger is on that path. Page 33.

Our task is to understand our cancelled debt and his great love, both of which will always overreach the boundaries of our imagination. Then, and only then, will we see our angry reactions as intolerable. Page 97.

 

 

(Review) Reading People: How Seeing The World Through The Lens Of Personality Changes Everything by Anne Bogel

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Publisher and Publication Date: Baker Books. September 19, 2017.
Genre: Nonfiction, reading, personality types.
Pages: 226.
Source: Complimentary paperback copy from Baker Books. I was not required to leave a positive review.
Rating: Very good.

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Anne Bogel is the creator of the popular blog Modern Mrs. Darcy and the podcast What Should I Read Next? Her popular book lists and reading guides have established Bogel as a tastemaker among readers, authors, and publishers. Bogel lives in Louisville, Kentucky.

Introduction: When we talk about someone’s personality, we’re referring to those characteristic patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that make that person unique. Page13.

When I read any book it is always cover to cover. This includes reading the preface, foreword, and introduction. The introduction in Reading People is insightful, applicable, and engaging. Bogel points out, “we truly want to know about ourselves.” This is why we take those silly tests or surveys on Facebook. But truly understanding out personalities requires us to dig a little deeper than what social media offers. When we understand ourselves, we know why we act and react the way we do in certain situations. It helps us to understand other people and respond to them.

Bogel’s goals in this book:
“1. provide an overview of the frameworks that have been the most helpful to me;
2. make this important information a lot more accessible and a lot less intimidating; and
3. highlight the kind of valuable insights that come from understanding personality.”

My Thoughts:
One of my favorite types of nonfiction books is reading about personality types. It’s been a few years ago that I read Quiet by Susan Caine. It was then I discovered I am an introvert. Through a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test, my personality type is INFJ. Another site to take a free test is 16 Personalities. I’ve actually taken a few of these tests. All tests state I’m an INFJ. INFJ means Introversion/Intuitive/Feeling/Judging. AKA the Advocate. I wish I’d known this information when younger. It would have helped to make decisions about college and career. It helps me to understand why I react the way I do in certain situations. I now have a reply when people tell me I’m weird.

What I love about Reading People:

1. The writing style is relaxed, transparent, informative, and engaging.
2. In taking a personality test, it is important to take it based on what I am really like and not what I wish I was like.
3. Bogel encouraged me “to make peace” with who I am.
4. Chapter 3 is on highly sensitive people. That’s me. I certainly dwell on things longer than I should. Experiences seem to effect me more. And I notice things other people miss.
5. Chapter 4 is on the love languages. Personalities need and respond to certain love languages. This is a perfect chapter for those in a new relationship or for any person wanting to understand this aspect of life.
6. Bogel teaches what the personality types are strong at and what they need to work on. For example, “Judging types are in danger of missing new info because they’re too focused on closure, on achieving the goal.” Page 121.
7. The last subtopic is moving past the education of our personality, and on to how to grow positively in our personality.

 

 

(Review) Making All Things New: Restoring Joy to the Sexually Broken by David Powlison

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Publisher and Publication Date: Crossway. August 31, 2017.
Genre: Christian nonfiction, sexuality, abuse.
Pages: 128.
Source: Complimentary ebook copy from Crossway. I was not required to leave a positive review.
Rating: Very good.

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David Powlison (MDiv, Westminster Theological Seminary) is a teacher, a counselor, and the executive director of the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation. He is also the senior editor of the Journal of Biblical Counseling and the author of Seeing with New Eyes, Good & Angry, and Speaking Truth in Love.

Summary:

Contents:
Introduction
1. Getting Oriented
2. Making Renewal Personal
3. Renewing All That Darkens Sex
4. Renewal Is Lifelong
5. Renewal Is a Wider Battle
6. Renewal Is a Deeper Battle
7. Renewal Brings an Increasingly Subtle Struggle
8. Remembering the Goal of Renewal
9. Getting Down to Today’s Skirmish in the Great War
Notes
General Index
Scripture Index

In order to renew anything, we must have a vision for what it is intended to be, for what’s gone wrong, and for how to bring about transformation.

David Powlison addresses both men and women in regards to several issues. For example, victims and those who are predators; people who struggle with sexual impulses outside a marriage; people who view sex as an identity. In addition, patterns and motivation, self-condemnation, sanctification, and transformation and growth are all examined.
In 128 pages, Powlison covers a wide field of subtopics under the main topic of sexuality.

My Thoughts:
After reading Making All Things New, what resonates with me is Powlison does not promise we will be perfected in this life. Recovery and sanctification is a process, because we will not see complete healing on this earth. I dislike nonfiction books that make promises that cannot be attained. This life is a struggle. It is messy. On the other hand, we cannot give up and give in to temptation. In the last chapter, Powlison teaches several things that can help. My favorite suggestion,

Put trouble and God together by talking it out.

Talk to God about problems. This seems like such an easy statement to grasp, but for many people it is ignored.

I started this section of the review with the ending applications of the book. My point was to make sure the readers understood the book holds helpful truths to understand and apply.

An opening question in chapter 2 is a bold question: “Where do you struggle with sex?” This type of question is on point with the rest of the book. Making All Things New is a graphic topic many Christians won’t analyze. I’ve not heard a sermon or Bible study on this topic. It is rare for me to hear a sermon on marriage, but if I do, in the mix of the sermon will be a lesson about the beauty of sex in a marriage. Among my gal pals, sex problems are spoken about with embarrassment and shame. Ridicule, gossip, and judgement are given to those who betray a marriage, reveal a secret about sexual abuse, or those who admit they are gay or lesbian. I’ve learned listening is the best response to give another person. Listening is truly a gift to another.

Further reflections on what I love about this book:
1. Powlison addresses the reader with ease and a personal approach. He is comfortable and this makes me comfortable. He is quick to make points. He uses a few illustrations or examples of people to further explain ideas.
2. Quotes I love.
From chapter 4:

First, sanctification is a direction you are heading. Second, repentance is a lifestyle you are living.

This life is not righteous, but growth in righteousness; it is not health, but healing; not being, but becoming; not rest, but exercise; we are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it; the process is not yet finished, but it is going on; this is not the end but it is the road; all does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified. Martin Luther.

From chapter 7.

The more obviously destructive sins and sufferings can actually be easier to deal with. The subtler sins can be more stubborn, pervasive, sneaky, and delusive.

3. A few things I learned that I’d not considered before:

A. People act out sexually for a variety of reasons. For example, to feel loved or approved. Another reason is anger.

Sexual acting out can be a way to express anger.

B. The aftermath of an abuse victim. How they see themselves as a victim.

There is an eternity of difference between ‘I am a survivor’ and ‘I am beloved of Jesus and am finding refuge and hope in the Lord of life.’

Making All Things New is a brief overview of sexual sin. It does not cover extensively victims of sexual abuse. I feel the book is addressed more to those who struggle with sexual sin and not a book for those who are seeking information for victims of sexual abuse. I am a victim of sexual abuse. This book has been helpful but not extensive. Making All Things New is a tool for readers-it is a beginning point.