April 2016, Reading For Life

A Review of: And Then Came The Angels

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March 2016, Reading For Life

A review of: Earning My Wings and Weeds in My Garden

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February 2016, Reading For Life

A Review of: Kid’s Night at LaDivina

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October 2015, Reading For Life

A Review of: Who Will Be My Father?

Written and Reviewed by Cheri Bowling

Who Will Be My Father? is the true story of Wilson Bugembe, an AIDS orphan who went from living on the streets to become an international rock star using his fame and fortune to help the orphans of Uganda.

WhoWillBeMyFathecoverprint-2Devastated over the loss of his parents to AIDS, 9-year-old Wilson Bugembe finds himself living on the streets of Kampala, Uganda. Determined to fulfill a promise he made to his dying father, Wilson struggles to find a way to complete his education. When reaching his goal seems impossible, God intervenes, but He has a much bigger plan in mind. Although Wilson’s immediate needs are met, it isn’t until he finds himself on his face, surrendering to a loving God he had blamed for his father’s death, that Wilson’s life takes a dramatic turn. Soon after, his heavenly Father launches him into a life of miracles, worldwide recognition and a mission to save the orphans of Uganda. 

Although the book deals with difficult subjects such as AIDS, grief, homelessness, isolation, anger, hypocrisy, and feelings of isolation and insecurity, it does so with an honesty that is balanced by grace, beauty and humor. Wilson’s story is inspirational, lighting the way through life’s darkest moments and paving the way for a child to begin to understand that there can be great gain through great loss. The story’s beautiful illustrations by Kymber Janes use light and color to reflect life and love even in the darkest moments. It is the kind of book I would have been thrilled to have in my children’s library. Who Will Be My Father? was written for children, particularly, but not exclusively, boys 6-12 years of age.

Reading For Life, September 2015

A Review of: It Only Takes Everything You’ve Got

review by Cheri Bowling

EverythingYouveGotProverbs 23:23 says, “Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding.”

It Only Takes Everything You’ve Got, by Baton Rouge entrepreneur Julio Melara, reads something like the book of Proverbs. But rather than focusing on wisdom, Melara’s central theme is what it takes to be a success. Having written four successful books on success, it’s a subject he owns. Using what he describes as TRUTH as the foundation, Melara builds his case that success is available to all by using his own personal experiences, as well as insights from some well-known role models such as Abraham Lincoln.

Also a successful motivational speaker, Melara’s main premise is that the TRUTH motivates people to change. Outlining simple goals, age-old strategies and skills that trump things like superior intelligence, formal education, and even luck, Melara describes how anyone can change their circumstances if they are willing to change themselves. But taking personal responsibility for your attitude, mastering your tongue, persevering through failure and maintaining personal integrity doesn’t come without cost, and therein lies the key. Whether in business, at home, in sports, or in the classroom, success is achievable, but it will take everything you’ve got!

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About the author: Julio Melara doesn’t just talk business, he lives it. He has an active interest in publishing, banking and real estate. As a devoted husband and father, he knows what it takes to reach your potential, balance your life and live on purpose. A man of passion, Julio is one of today’s leading motivational speakers and foremost authors on true success.

August 2015, Reading For Life

A Review of: Meet Me in the Trunk

Meet Me in the Trunk

By Yvonne Hilton Bourgeois

Review by Cheri Bowling

51PueW8T-1L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Proving that some of the best gifts really do come in small packages, Meet Me in the Trunk by Yvonne Hilton Bourgeois is a powerful reminder that “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Heb 4:12 ESV

Finding her psychology degree inadequate to help her navigate life’s bumpy and oftentimes treacherous roads, Yvonne finally surrendered to the still, small voice of God and let go of the wheel. Climbing into the trunk, far away from a place of control, she let God drive. As a result, He not only became her source of strength and comfort, He opened up to her the treasures of the Kingdom. In Meet Me in the Trunk, Bourgeois opens the door for her readers to join her in her trunk where encounters with God take her from stress to rest, from despairing of life to abundant life.

Combining narrative with the power of the Word, Meet Me in the Trunk is nothing less than a trip into deep intimacy with God. A cross between book/devotional/bible study, its short, two-page chapters are honest and refreshing. Thoughtful questions at the end of each chapter enable the reader to personalize the topics that include overcoming your humanness, setting aside selfishness, the true meaning of covenant, impurity, the power of words, and much more.

Yvonne Hilton Bourgeois is a member of Healing Place Church where she was a group facilitator for the family group for over eight years. She also assisted in the New Beginnings Ministry, a ministry for those who have destructive lifestyles and those who love them. She and her husband live in Prairieville.