Wednesday, January 28, 2015

My Review of "The Gospel of Joy"

Pope Francis' Gospel of Joy was a book was I excited to read.  I've looked forward to this book for a long time.  Given the Pope's recent popularity, and his global vision of a classic Christianity, this book gives us a first-hand view into what and how the Pope thinks.

The Joy of the Gospel is the English translation of Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium.  Francis' main thrust throughout this exhortation is to call Christians to the "joy of the Gospel"; this he does superbly while drawing in a number of topics to his primary discussion.  For Francis, the true joy of the Gospel centers on the proclamation of Christ's life, death, resurrection, and coming return (p. 5).  Francis calls the faithful to a "renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ" which transcends personal concerns and leads to a life of transformation.  This transformative joy should invigorate faith, center our life of Christ and his Church, and lead us to gladly evangelize and engage our world.

It's the Pope's vision of evangelization that I find so compelling.  It has nothing to do with proselytizing.  Instead, he emphasizes relationship and the transformation of existing institutions and systems.  In order to address the challenges of the present age and transform cultures, Francis is not afraid to change the tactics of the Church.

His criticism of rampant consumerism, greed and waste are an important part of what that transformation must look like in our culture.  And one I find absolutely compelling.

This is a book that anyone who cares about Christianity needs to read.

I received this book free, from the Blogging for Books program, in exchange for my honest review. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

My Review of "Your Family in Pictures"

The author of Your Family in Pictures, Me Ra Koh, has made it her career empowering parents (though the book appears to be geared more toward moms) to learn photography.  There's no tradition more priceless in our families capturing the moments of our lives.  Using a phone is one thing, but holding an actual camera is encouraging not to mention fun.

From chapters on how to get started, to capturing photos during the Holidays, Your Life in Pictures is wonderful, user friendly, and authentic. Even if you're quite familiar with all things photography, this book gives recommendations for equipment and camera settings to capture the best picture possible.  I also love how the book is family friendly making this a great gift for any mom in your life. 

There's plenty of inspiration here for parents who are just getting started taking those pictures.  So grab your camera and grab this book and let the creative juices start flowing.

I received this book free, from the Blogging for Books program, in exchange for my honest review.