Cold Shot: A Sneak Peek

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Welcome to Sneak Peek Saturday on Reading List! 

Sneak Peek Saturday on Reading List  a glimpse into what I am reading currently

Current book:

Cold Shot

Dani Pettrey

Cold Shot by Dani Pettery  A Sneak Peek on Reading List

Sneak Peek:

"God called husabnds to love their wives like the church- that he believed he could do- but he couldn't lead his wife while still struggling with his own demons. Until he conquered them, he couldn't move forward. And he certainly wasn't into casual dating and must definitely not with an amazing woman like Finley Scott." location 1017

Thank you to A Daily Rhythm for inspiring Reading List's Saturday Sneak Peek link up!

Meet the Hosts of Saturday Sneak Peek:

Marissa writes book reviews for a variety of genres and  shares thoughts on motherhood & life on Reading List. She loves to see what others are reading to grow her to-read list.  Marissa also enjoys photography and a new journal to fill. 

Bloglovin' ~~ Subscribe ~~ Goodreads

Alyssa reads a variety of genres and writes about it at Sunrise Avenue. She is always looking for new bookish friends and recs'! Besides reading, Alyssa loves to bake and anything Doctor Who.

Twitter ~~ Google + ~~ Instagram ~~ Pinterest
Bloglovin' ~~ Subscribe ~~ Goodreads 

Here are some rules if you decide to join in:

• Pick up whatever book you are reading (non-fiction, fiction, children's... really the sky is the limit)
• Open to any page you have already read
• Share a few “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page - make it interesting without flipping to a ton of different pages. 
 BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away -- You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so we can all add your book to our To-Be-Read lists!

This particular link up will be open for a month, so stop by often to share a new sneak peek, and grow your own TBR list!

Marissa at Reading List

Linking up with these fun hops:

book reflection

Making Room for God Space

Friday, February 19, 2016

Making Room for God Space

Practical steps to evangelizing in today's society

Have you ever had to walk by a screaming street evangelist? You know, the person, or people, shouting at everyone about their sinful ways and how everyone is doomed to an eternity in the fiery pits of hell. Or some kind of equally shocking and troubling message.  Often they have pamphlets full of nightmare-inducing images or are holding a disturbing sign. While I was in college for my undergrad degree, there was a man who infamously stood, or rather paced, a small area in the center of campus yelling his religion. The vast majority of students kept in ear buds pumping music at full volume to drown him out while they walked right on by; others, like me, would take serious detours whenever possible to completely avoid the area.

Making Room for God Space   on Reading List

Even as a firm believer at the time, his technique embarrassed me. I was embarrassed for myself, for him, and for those who did not believe and now saw religion through his invasive approach. While the point - attempting to save souls from eternal damnation -was one I agreed with, the method was an automatic turn off to too many. And for some, it left a horrible taste for all believers, no matter what.

It does not surprise me that many people end up with the idea that religion is something they will avoid at all costs because of such encounters.

As you can guess my days of undergrad are long gone. I am more comfortable in my beliefs. I doubt I would avoid such an outspoken evangelist now.  But the question now is, if we, as believers, need to avoid the invasive, hit-them-over-the-head-with-scary-truth method, what should we do?

Maybe we can just pray for not-yet-saved souls. We know prayer is powerful. We know that our God can do anything. We know that God is the one that changes hearts and people.  So why even bother actively pursuing not-yet believers? (Mark 11:24)

"Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations…” Matthew 28:19
We have been charged to take an active role in guiding all people back to their Creator God. However, I know many, myself included, who are just not sure how to even take a single step towards going and making disciples.

Since we know this is a command from our Lord Jesus Christ, then we have to find ways to obey. Let's check out this idea of how to take one step at a time in obedience.

Ravi Zacharias said, “We must learn to find the back door to people’s hearts because the front door is heavily guarded.” It is probably fair to say that the front door is heavily guarded because of experiences like the screaming evangelist, or the long lists of to-dos from a person’s childhood church, or even the lists of do not's.  The thing is if we get caught up in trying to accommodate for all the what ifs we will never do anything - we won’t be active. The weight of the what ifs will paralyze us, so we have to give the uncertainties of future possibilities over to our God and take a step in faith.

Making Room for God Space   on Reading List

This place of knowing is where I sat for a while.  I knew I needed to be intentional, and active, but how does one reach out to those who have put up walls? How do we actually and practically take a step in obedience to this command of leading people to Christ?

Through an incredibly innovative, and spirit-inspired, writer, I learned about allowing for God space in my life every single day. In Doug Pollock’s God Space, he points out that “God Space begins where the natural gives way to the supernatural.” (p 16)

What is the natural?

It is the go to for the majority of people in a given circumstance - at least for this purpose, it is best to think of it that way.

Alright, no problem, I thought, I can totally do that. I am a people watcher and a thinker by nature. I started watching and thinking.  Do you know what I discovered?

My life was full of believers.  Sure they were all at different stages of belief, but they were believers.  I had put together a little world for my family that consisted of safe people for my kids, and in the process, I had  all but cut out every chance of interacting with the natural of our society. (Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with having a safe place for your kids, but there comes a time when you have to step into the world - go and make...)

Step one in actively reaching out to make disciples means you, and I, have to search out people in every area of your life who are not-yet believers - meaning they do not know God or are not saved (depending on your personal lingo).  If you are like me, and unsure what areas there even are in your life, think your family (start with your immediate family and work out to distant relatives), think friends (actual friends you see, or could make a point of seeing as well as all those “friends” you’ve picked on social media), think work (for those who are stay at home mamas, or work at home mamas - think of those other moms you see pushing strollers in the park), think school (yours if you are in classes of any kind, and your kids’).  Just start breaking down your areas of life.  And if, like me, you cannot think of a single person you can name as a not-yet-believer, pray that God will show you one.(Take your time here, pray, listen) Once you have your list, actual names here, start praying- for them, for you, for your time with them, for God Space.

Since we know that God hears, listens and responds to our prayers, as you are faithful with step one, you will start to receive opportunities to enter the “back door” of these people’s hearts so you can plant or water the seeds of faith. (Matthew 7:7 & 1 Corinthians 3:6-9)

Here’s where it gets tricky. How do we even start to move towards that back door?

The first practical step is to schedule your life to allow for interactions with the people on your list. Call up those friends and schedule coffee dates. Plan on going to the park during peak hours and then say hi to those other mamas you see often. Call that aunt or cousin you only see once during the holidays just to say hi. Do not plan on saying anything drastic. Just be open to having a real conversation about something they are comfortable with.

The second practical step would be to start asking wondering questions as applicable. Wondering questions are a result of engaging a person in a conversation they are interested in, and then really listening. Doug Pollock calls this “Spirit-led listening”, because while you are listening to your not-yet-believing friend, the Spirit will start pointing out aspects of what they are saying that will alert you to the deep need inside of them to be found in their Creator. But instead of shouting at them about the state of their soul, you can ask a wondering question that will make them start wondering about real answers - you will simply scatter a seed or water a seed that God placed in their heart.

So now you are probably thinking, this is all great Marissa, but how does that look? And how exactly am I suppose to take those steps?

Well, first might I suggest getting your hands on God Space?  Each chapter will walk you through how to pursue the people in your life, how to engage them in real conversations, and how to ask wondering questions without getting that door slammed in your face.

If you are still willing to hear how this form of going and making disciples is playing out in my life and on Reading List, join us next week.

We know that God is the one that changes hearts and people.  So why even bother actively pursuing not-yet believers? @Reading_List1

How do you feel about the doomsday evangelizing that most Americans know? Are you curious about wondering questions? Does this sound like a form of actively reaching out that you could do?

Marissa @ Reading List

**If you are considering purchasing this book, please consider using the affiliate link here and support Reading List in the process.

Sharing this post with the wonderful blogs: WomenThe Jenny EvolutionLearning From Each OtherDance With Jesus Your BlessingsWhat Katy SaidAcross the Blvd

Cozy book hop

The Cozy Reading Spot #130

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Welcome to Cozy Reading Spot! 

This is your chance to share your posts, and then grab your favorite drink to curl up with and read other's posts.  You are welcome to share posts that tell us what has been on your heart, mind and bookshelves - yes that means just about anything goes.  As book lovers, we love to read, so share something for us to read today!

Last Week's Features

Marissa's Favorite

My favorite link from last week was by Beth at Pages and Margins: Picture Books about Russia.  She shares a wonderful lists of books you can read to your kids that show Russian culture through literature. 
Picture books about Russia a feature on the Cozy Reading Spot

Most Popular

The most popular link from last week was by Tina at Desperate Homeschoolers: How We Do Bible Memorization. She shares how her family is working to memorize key verses through different techniques, specifically acting it out. 
How we do bible memorization  a feature on The Cozy Reading Spot

Please link up all you've got!  

This is an open link up, not just a book link up...

There are just a few small requests I have. 
  • Please link to a direct post, and not just your home page.
  • I wish I didn't have to say this, but please keep it clean. I know books & posts can range the gamut on adult content, but please keep your posts and images clean for this one. 
  • Try to stop by another link and say hi. I know we are all busy blogging, reading and writing, not mention living our lives and keeping up with responsibilities - however, what makes the link up so fun is having new people visit your blog!  So spread the love and hop to at least one link for each link you leave.
  • Please include a link back to the hop in your post - the button codes are part of the flair page, but a text hyperlink is just as good! This simply allows others to join in the fun, and isn't that the whole point?                    

Join #TheCozyReadingSpot - share your posts & find new friends! #BloggingFun @Reading_List1

Cozy Reading Spot  {Reading List}

** If you're reading this from your email, click over and join us!  Reading List

The fine print: Please understand that by linking up with the Cozy Reading Spot, you are agreeing to allow Reading List to feature you in a future post.  That includes a link to your post, and a picture you've used on that post.  You are also allowing Reading List to share any post you link up with pinterest, facebook, twitter and/or google+.  Also, by posting in this hop, you are allowing your email address to be used for a weekly reminder of the hop - your email will not be used for any other purpose, period.

See where I link up!

Book review

Compulsion: A Book Review

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


Martina Boone

The storylines that authors come up with in fiction never ceases to amaze me.  Even the stories that sound like copies of popular stories are full of surprises each time they are recreated.  Then, once in a while, a story comes out that seems completely new on a level that makes the entire story fresh and exciting.  The key is discovering these diamonds in the rough.

I have taken to allowing Goodreads to give me recommendations off of books that I really enjoyed.  It's a scary step for me because the lists usually consist of books I have never heard of. In fact, the recommendations often include books that no one in my circle of Goodreads friends has commented on - and let me just say my Goodreads friends are a very eclectic group.  Probably once a month I'll check out the recommendations and randomly pick one to check out at my local library.

That is exactly what I did with this particular book- Compulsion by Martina Boone.  When my husband picked it up to read the summary on the jacket the first words from his lips were, "This sounds like a different book for you."  Yep - this book, the entire series actually, is vastly different not because of the type of characters, or even the framework of the book - this book takes a step into a side of history that is full of folklore, magic and mystery...

Compulsion by Martina Boone  a Book Review on Reading List

Story Overview 

Compulsion (Heirs of Watson Island)** is the first book in Martina Boone's trilogy. Barrie Watson is returning to her family's plantation in South Carolina now that her mother has passed away and the man who has always taken care of her is dying also.  She is moving in with her aunt Pru and quickly realizes her family has some amazing history and even more unbelievable secrets.

The Watson plantation is on an island along with three other plantations: The Beauforts and the Colesworth.  The curious part is why the families are still there, each connected to their home for generations, each with their own secrets that intertwine...

Eight Beaufort quickly becomes friends with Barrie as she starts to unravel the secrets of Watson's Landing. Barrie has known that she has the ability to find lost objects, a "skill" that her mother also had. What she never realized is where that ability came from, and why her family has it.  Luckily, Eight patiently joins her as she starts the journey of discovering her heritage and the legacy of Watson Island.

Personal Likes

I greatly enjoyed the pace of this story.  It begins right as Barrie starts her journey back to her family home, a home she has never seen.  The mysterious actions of the plantation, her aunt, the Beauforts and Colesworth kept me glued to the pages of this book much longer than typical in a sitting.  I just had to figure out the whats, whys, and hows.

While Barrie, Eight and Cassie are fairly typical teenagers, with insecurities and fears, the added aspect of mystery and magic add a new level.  Luckily Boone was able to bring these characters to life, creating complex characters that you want to know more about.  It's hard to pick sides with the three families because no one is perfect, rather they are all real. While I really loved Barrie and Eight, I was equally impressed with the supporting characters, Pru, Seven and Mark are all wonderful characters that demand attention.

Compulsion by Martina Boone  a Book Review on Reading List

Personal Dislikes

As my husband thought about this book, I was ready to say my biggest dislike of the book was going to be the voodoo mystic elements - and he was right & wrong at the same time.  There are parts of this book where the mystery, folklore, and magic are too much to handle.  I do not personally buy into that kind of ideology and tend to avoid it in literature.  And yet, the way Boone writes this book, the mystic ties are a reflection of a belief system and reality for some even within the American culture.  So this personal dislike was worth reading about just to have some awareness of (yes I know fiction liberties... we do not have to discuss that).

I also had an issue with the Colesworth side of the story.  Their curse seemed to be lacking in reason. I wish it would have been more developed. While I understand that this is the first in a series, Cassie does some fairly deplorable acts, although they pale in comparison to the older generation of her family.  If the curse is the root cause, it needed to be developed more.

Reasons to Read

The idea of knowing where lost things are and knowing what other people want all the time are concepts that most of us can get.  It would be great if, as moms we knew exactly what our kids wanted, of course, the issue of knowing when to provide it and when to withhold would come up.  The magic of the characters of Compulsion struggle with these life questions and challenges - seeing how they deal is a great way to start a personal reflection on how you treat other people, what you expect from the, or you can use this to start a conversation with someone on how we as people should interact with others.  When we know what someone really wants, how do we respond? Do we provide for all their wants?  Why, why not?

Reading List Rating

Four heart rating on Reading List

I am going to surprise myself and give this book four hearts.  I really did enjoy it and can't wait to share my thoughts on the second book of the series. However, I probably won't be reading this one again, there is just not enough time and a few too many dislikes. 

My Suggested Audience

I would probably suggest this book first to Teens, better yet girls 15-18 because the main character will probably resonate well with this audience.  However, if you are a fan of the Raven Boys or retellings of Romeo & Juliet, then you will probably enjoy this one no matter your age.  As far as a younger reader, well there are some cultural points made that you need life to help you truly comprehend, and there are some violent scenes and other more mature content that younger teens might not be ready for.  

Should parents provide for every little desire their kids have? Should all of our desires be given to us? @Reading_List1

What are your thoughts on the modern fiction that pulls in aspects of history to create mystery? Have you any experience with the concepts of magic in the deep south?  What was last book you picked to read that was completely out of left field for you? 

I'd love to hear from you, please leave me a little note!

Marissa @ Reading List

**If you are considering purchasing this book, please consider using the affiliate link here and support Reading List in the process. 

***If you're interested in writing a book review on Reading List, please message me on the Facebook page! If you're curious about a book, ask me...  I love to hear from you! If you would like your book reviewed on Reading List, email me: the link is at the bottom of this page.

Linking up with these great blogs:
Wise-Woman-Builds While I'm Waiting...The Princess & Her CowboysBes of BabyPat and CandyThe Felicity Jar

Get our weekly newletter

Like me on Facebook