40/40 Vision: Clarifying Your Mission in Midlife
By Peter Greer & Greg Lafferty (IVP Books)
Peter Greer and Greg Lafferty pack 40/40 Vision with wonderful answers to the questions: “What am I here for? Why is life so meaningless? What really counts?” The authors point readers to the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes for clarity as they masterfully present Bible verses, Bible stories and personal testimonies. Greer and Lafferty encourage readers to place hope in things beyond the sun, not below the sun.
Even though 40/40 Vision doesn’t read as a how-to manual, the authors reinforce the importance of trusting God, not circumstances or the past. Greer and Lafferty provide simple suggestions to connect with God—volunteering and joining home groups. The authors lace 40/40 Vision with Bible verses expressing God’s grace and mercy. Greer and Lafferty remind readers Jesus has gone to prepare a home above the sun for his followers.
My midlife crisis hit when I turned 66 and my job of caregiving ended. 40/40 Vision landed in my hands at the time I needed to hear the encouraging words from Ecclesiastes. 40/40 Vision is an inspiring, well-written book full of encouragement, no matter where you fall on the age bar. Greer and Lafferty write, “Midlife is the time to narrow your focus of your to-do list.”
Estes Park, Colo.
Project Inspired: Tips and Tricks for Staying True to Who You Are
By Nicole Weider with Kristin Billerbeck (Zondervan, 2015)
Model and former actress Nicole Weider founded and maintains Project Inspired, “the largest online community of Christian teen girls.” As an outgrowth, she has written Project Inspired: Tips and Tricks for Staying True to Who You Are with “Christian chick lit” author Kristen Billerbeck.
Project Inspired helps girls navigate the challenging teen years with a focus on Christ rather than contemporary culture. Weider fills the pages with personal stories and biblical examples designed to inspire choices that honor God in all areas of life. Practical tips, Scripture and illustrative images add appeal to the volume.
Chapters include such topics as “True Beauty & Your Wardrobe Essentials,” “Defining Your Look & Must-Have Accessories,” “Etiquette,” “Friendships & Fun Activities” “Navigating Entertainment,” “Boys, Heartbreak & Relationships” and “Overcoming Depression.” A list of “Modesty Tips & Tricks” addresses skirt length, swimsuits, undergarments and more. Even more helpful for girls are nine traits to look for and 16 warning signs to avoid in guys. The section on spiritual gifts affirms the intersection of gifts, talents, dreams and discerning God’s voice.
Project Inspired would be a great gift for teen or late pre-teen girls, their parents, youth ministers or others who love them. Instead of preaching, “Don’t,” the author offers things to do, affirmation and a refreshing take on living the Christian life, in but not of the world.
Kathy Robinson Hillman, librarian