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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Bookworm Babbles: Jesus or Nothing by Dann Dewitt

The Bookworm Babbles - Book Reviews at Southern In-Law

I've always been a bookworm. I'm not good at relaxing - but if I have a book in hand, I'll happily curl up somewhere and read for hours. I devour books. I was known at our local library for borrowing 6 books a week and then returning them read cover to cover just 7 days later (if not sooner). 

I gave up on Good Reads because I read so fast I couldn't keep up with my "shelves" or read and unread books. I have bookshelves that are overflowing with books and I was so excited when I found out that a secondhand bookstore was opening up in our area. 

I'm often the one that friends come to for book recommendations - and after mentioning books here on the blog I've had many SIL readers come to me for recommendations too - so I thought I'd start sharing some book reviews (and also tell you the best places to buy said books) every now and again. 

First, I wanted to start with a book that I devoured in a morning and have thought about ever since; Jesus or Nothing by Dan Dewitt



Jesus or Nothing Book Review - Southern In-LawThere is nothing better than a book that makes you stop and think, long after you turn that last page. Jesus or Nothing does exactly that.

As you might have seen me mention on the blog over the past couple of months, we recently had a church growth weekend at our church with Paul Borden from Growing Healthy Churches. The aim of the weekend was to give our church strategies to grow – that is, to bring more people from our community to Jesus to join our church family.

But there’s one major barrier to this goal. We’re trying to reach people who don’t know Jesus, who don’t go to church or who may have gone to church in the past and for some reason or another have been turned away. That barrier is why it’s so important that we change our ways of connecting with these people.

One of the things that I think is so important in any relationship is understanding both sides – because you cannot have a friendship without mutual understanding and acceptance.

Jesus or Nothing asks the reader to consider both sides and to ask yourself; What if? As Dan says in the book “the gospel doesn’t enjoy a middle category immune from truth or falsehood” – each of us as human beings have to choose, it’s either Jesus or Nothing.

Now, you might be thinking this is just a “churchy” book, but this is actually a book I’d recommend to everyone – regardless of where you stand on religion. 

It shows us that, as humans, we all have an incessant desire for truth and understanding – and we all want to find meaning in our lives, regardless of what we do or do not believe in.

There’s one quote in the book by Blaise Pascal that especially stuck out to me; “We desire truth and find within ourselves only uncertainty”. 

As humans, we all want truth and certainty. We all want to be sure of things – but we find it impossible to find that truth and certainty within ourselves. 

There is only One who can give us meaning, understanding, hope, truth and certainty – and that’s Jesus.

This book will challenge you to rethink how you view everyone – especially atheists and those who seriously question our faith. 

It addresses the question that we all quietly and ashamedly ask to ourselves, regardless of where we stand on religion; What If I’m Wrong? Jesus or Nothing considers both sides of the fence and gives you a better understanding of your own faith – whilst also equipping you with the tools needed to point others towards the right path when they come to the intersection of Jesus or Nothing.

Dan Dewitt is a theologian, however, this book is written without arrogance or judgement which was a huge breath of fresh air. He’s real, honest and raw and has pieced together a book that you’ll want to recommend to everyone.  It’s a book that makes you think – and a book that also makes you act as you begin to look at the world around you in a whole new light.

Humans are always going to be searching for the meaning of life – because that gives us the meaning of everything. We are always going to come to the intersection of Jesus or Nothing and it’s important that we make an informed decision – because it’s a choice we make that has eternal implications. 

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SIL Recommended? Definitely! I especially recommend this book to all of my Christian brothers and sisters - but this is a book I think everyone should read, regardless of where they stand on religion. 

Where Can I Buy It?
  • Book Depository - $11.43 AUD for the paperback version with free shipping worldwide  
  • Booktopia - $13.95 AUD plus $6.50 postage within Australia
  • Amazon - $8.18 USD for the paperback version (plus shipping) or $7.32 for the Kindle version 
But tell me, what's the best book you've read lately?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Recipe: Avocado, Almond and Raisin Brown Rice Salad

Healthy Avocado Almond and Raisin Brown Rice Salad Recipe - low fat, gluten free, vegan, vegetarian

I know, I know - another weird combination, but I promise you this one is so so good. It's a pretty random, use what's left in the fridge, meal but it totally works.

More often that not, the reason our favourite food combinations are our favourites is because of the balance of flavours and textures. Salty and sweet, soft and crunchy, sweet and sour etc. 

This Brown Rice Salad totally works for that exact reason. You've got creamy avocado, crunchy almonds, savoury spinach and grilled zucchini and sweet juicy raisins mixed through brown rice. You've also got a mix of warm and cold - with the rice and veggies being warm and the cold creamy avocado. 

But I know what you're thinking, an Avocado, Almond & Raisin Brown Rice Salad still sounds totally odd - but I bet the first person to put peanut butter and jelly together got a few weird looks too! 

So let me give you the recipe >> 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The True Story of Easter



This video was played during our church service this morning and Jesse and I thought it was so powerful that we had to share it with you. 

Our Easter has been fab. Jesse's eaten all of his Easter chocolate, we had a lovely morning with our friends at church and then had a movie afternoon at home! And now we're planning on watching Frozen after dinner!

But tell me, how have you spent your Easter? Or if you're in the Northern Hemisphere, what do you have planned for today?!

Six Sentence Sundays: April 20th, 2014


First of all, Happy Easter to all of you SIL Bunnies! We're just about to head off to church then we have a movie day planned at home. I hope you have a marvelous day filled with love and of course chocolate - and don't forget, today we remember the greatest gift we have ever been given - eternal life and forgiveness of our sins. He IS Risen!

This weekend has been exactly what I've needed, family, friends, God, rest and of course chocolate. 

I'm loving the fact that we have tomorrow off, then go back to work for 3 days and have another 3 day weekend! 

I surprised Jesse with an Easter Basket filled with his favourite things - chocolate (which has already been devoured), Starburst Candies, popcorn, beef jerky and a Marvel Comics Mug - it's pretty clear that I married a five year old ;P 

I have turned into a complete and utter bookworm and I've read about 12 books this week - next week I'm sharing my first book review of these books and I can't wait for you to read it! 

I've got lots of baking planned for the next week and I can't wait! Our fridge and freezer are already full as full can be, but that's okay ;P 

The cooler the weather gets, the more I remember how much I dread winter - please, someone, help me find an endless supply of the warmest clothes possible!

But tell me, sum up your weekend in a few sentences
And what's your favourite Easter Treat?
Also, are you a winter fan or are you a summer lover like me?
PS: Be sure to like Christian Designs and Apparel on Facebook as we're just about to launch that new collection!

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