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Saturday, May 25, 2019

"From Monk to Money Manager" by Doug Lynam

Knowing how many books I read and how fast I go thru literature, a friend of mine suggested I read a finance book.  He claimed I'd likely be able to get through it faster than the average person and absorb the information well enough to improve my own finances.  So, I got this book to review.  I liked the concept of a religious monk turn money manager.  This book was fascinating and taught me a lot about finances.  I learned the difference between rich people and wealthy people.  Rich people have lots of money but blow it on stuff.  Rich people often end up poor when they are older, their businesses hit hard times, or when they retire.  On the flip side, wealthy people may not have lots of money but they invest what they do have.  Wealthy people live below their means, save like monsters, and have some sort of stock options.  Another key takeaway from this book is that there are stocks called ESG stocks that are environmentally sustainable and governable.  Index funds in ESG stocks will invest in companies that recycle, help the environment, and do good in the world.  ESG stocks exclude companies that involve drugs, weapons, cigarettes, adult entertainment, etc.  Best of all, ESG stocks perform on par, if not better, than standard stocks.  These ESG companies aren't all environmental companies.  They can be mainstream companies that simply have sustainable practices and have no bad ethics.  I will take the lessons from this book and hopefully make myself a little more wealthy.  As Lynam points out throughout the book, money is not evil.  Love of money is evil.  If everyone became a little more wealthy, the world would be a better place.  Don't shun money.  Rather, use your money for good so you don't end up having to have someone else suffer by supporting you.    

Thursday, May 9, 2019

"Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl's Heart" by Kristen Clark and Bethany Beal

I am a fan of Kristen and Bethany of Girl Defined Ministries.  This is their third book and is all about sex / purity.  This book is all based on Christian theology and how sex was designed by God.  Sex within marriage is how the Creator designed it.  The authors illustrate how sex is a metaphor for a relationship with God.  Sex is meant to be intimate between two spouses who have made a covenant promise to each other...just like how God has a covenant relationship with humanity.  This does not mean God has physical relations with people--by no means.  It is all just symbolic and metaphorical.  Difficult issues such as porn, erotica, adultery, homosexuality, sexual abuse, and more are covered in a way that is transparent yet not graphic.  I should note that the book is aimed at women and can be read by young girls.  There is nothing explicit in the book and no images.  What I was surprised was how there was little to no emphasis on physical consequences for premarital sex.  There was no section on sexually transmitted disease or unplanned pregnancy.  Overall, I enjoyed the book.  No matter your past, you are loved by God and can walk in your worth as a daughter of God.  Sex is not scary or bad or cheap.  Rather, sex is meant to be cherished with the one person who has committed their life to you by putting a ring on your finger!

Friday, May 3, 2019

"Soul Survivor" by Bruce and Andrea Leininger with Ken Gross

I listened to this book as an audio book CD.  I heard about it when it was referenced in another book on cellular biology.  The story is about a young boy who has nightmares related to a past life.  As early as two years old, the boy James tells his mother about fighter aircraft, past relatives, knowledge of Japan, and so on.  James even has violent nightmares where he is trapped in a burning aircraft...the very same aircraft he died in during World War II.  James' parents are torn--his mother is a believer in reincarnation while his father is skeptical.  Through years of research and tracking down veterans, James' parents begin to be more and more convinced of their child's past life.  James even made reference to being in heaven and choosing his parents when they were honeymooning in Hawaii.  Some will say this book is a hoax or made up.  I honestly don't know if this is true or not but I choose to believe it is so.  There is so much about life after death that we do not know.  God can do anything, and if God lets people come back to life multiple times, what's the big deal?  On a side note, I would like to say that the narrator of the CD is excellent.  The voice, tone, and pacing are on point.

"Girl, Wash Your Face" by Rachel Hollis

Geared towards women, this book is all about being the best version of yourself.  Various lies are detailed and confronted with a loving reality.  Hollis shares many stories from her own life.  For example, when confronting the lie that women are defined by their weight, Hollis shares her own struggles with emotional eating.  When confronting the lie that women will be happy when they have a man, Hollis shares her own struggles with her husband.  The author is Christian and makes some religious references, but the book feels very authentic and not evangelical or otherwise pushy.  Readers turn each page and feel like they are chatting with the author over a drink.  I wouldn't say this book has any new information.  Most topics would be considered common sense, but I do think it is still a good book to read.  Far too many women let lies control their life, and it's always great to have a positive reminder that everything is going to be okay and you have the power to make it so.  Girl, wash your face!