UnPlanned is one of the most well-known stories of a former Planned Parenthood employee's journey from the side of pro-choice to the side of pro-life. What we don't realize is that there are other women who have made that same journey and even more women who want to make that journey but are scared to do so. Redeemed by Grace is the true story of Ramona Treviño's journey from Catholicism to the lies of secularism and back to the truth of Catholicism. As the last stop on the blog tour for her book, I will be providing a general review.

Redeemed by Grace begins with Ramona's first day of her first week as manager of a Planned Parenthood in Sherman, Texas. She was driving home; listening to Catholic radio, as she had been for the past several months; and opening herself to the Spirit, whether she knew it or not. All of a sudden, it hit her. What she was doing was wrong! She was not helping young girls, but instead she was making their lives worse. Tears poured from her with no end in sight, but God's voice told her that it wasn't too late to turn her life around. The book then flashes back to 1985 when Treviño was a little girl and her first inquiry into God's existence and presence in her life. Subsequent chapters detail harsh moments in her life, including getting pregnant at sixteen, marrying into an abusive marriage, and divorce. We also learn of her involvement and advancement in Planned Parenthood and the glorious story of her escape from the lie that is Planned Parenthood.

Chapter 16: Resounding Trust was the chapter that brought everything into perspective for me. Here we see the childlike trust a wife and mother places in God. Ramona was no longer working at Planned Parenthood, so she was looking for a job to help her family that just went from two incomes to one income. She starts by selling insurance, but soon felt that she was preying on the elderly. She then moved to payday loans, but felt she was preying on the poor. She quit both jobs and had to trust in God that He would provide for her family. Monetary gifts rolled in from friends and people she didn't even know. However, the birth of her third child, Philip, was the greatest proof of God's love for her and her husband. That's so simple but profound. Life is the greatest gift of all, and that message emanates from his book.

With a personal narrative writing style, this book can be read very quickly. If you are a reader of average speed, it will take you about a day. That's not to say that this book is an easy read though. It was a hard read packed with emotion and sadness. You ultimately know where she is headed in her journey (toward God and the Catholic Church), but you have to experience the suffering with her before she gets there. When I first received this book, I put it on a shelf to read if I ever had spare time, because I wasn't the target audience for this book. After reading it, I still don't believe I am the target audience for it, but I am glad I read it.

This book was provided to me for free by Carmel Communications in exchange for an honest review. If you found this review helpful, please click here and hit Yes!


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Redeemed by Grace (Ignatius Press)

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 begins with Ramona’s first day of her first week as manager of a Planned Parenthood in Sherman, Texas. She was driving home; listening to Catholic radio, as she had been for the past several months; and opening herself to the Spirit, whether she knew it or not. All of a sudden, it hit her. What she was doing was wrong! She was not helping young girls, but instead she was making their lives worse. Tears poured from her with no end in sight, but God’s voice told her that it wasn’t too late to turn her life around. The book then flashes back to 1985 when Treviño was a little girl and her first inquiry into God’s existence and presence in her life. Subsequent chapters detail harsh moments in her life, including getting pregnant at sixteen, marrying into an abusive marriage, and divorce. We also learn of her involvement and advancement in Planned Parenthood and the glorious story of her escape from the lie that is Planned Parenthood.

Chapter 16: Resounding Trust was the chapter that brought everything into perspective for me. Here we see the childlike trust a wife and mother places in God. Ramona was no longer working at Planned Parenthood, so she was looking for a job to help her family that just went from two incomes to one income. She starts by selling insurance, but soon felt that she was preying on the elderly. She then moved to payday loans, but felt she was preying on the poor. She quit both jobs and had to trust in God that He would provide for her family. Monetary gifts rolled in from friends and people she didn’t even know. However, the birth of her third child, Philip, was the greatest proof of God’s love for her and her husband. That’s so simple but profound. Life is the greatest gift of all, and that message emanates from his book.

With a personal narrative writing style, this book can be read very quickly. If you are a reader of average speed, it will take you about a day. That’s not to say that this book is an easy read though. It was a hard read packed with emotion and sadness. You ultimately know where she is headed in her journey (toward God and the Catholic Church), but you have to experience the suffering with her before she gets there. When I first received this book, I put it on a shelf to read if I ever had spare time, because I wasn’t the target audience for this book. After reading it, I still don’t believe I am the target audience for it, but I am glad I read it.

This book was provided to me for free by and hit Yes!

The Pilgrim’s Regress (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.)

The Pilgrim’s Progress is a Christian allegory written by John Bunyan that is considered one of the most popular works of all time and perhaps the most famous allegory of all time. In 1933, C.S. Lewis published a work called The Pilgrim’s Regress. He billed it as an update version of Bunyan’s work with a heavy dose of moral philosophy. In true Lewis fashion, he beats you over the head with his allegory. This is demonstrated by such characters as Mr. Enlightenment, Mr. Neo-Classical, and, Mr. Humanist. This complaint aside, it really is a well-written book that is inundated with references. You could spend hours and hours poring over the book trying to uncover all the references or you could buy the recently released an Annotated Edition of The Pilgrim’s Regress.

The Annotated Edition of The Pilgrim’s Regress starts with a nice introduction, which provides both biographical and cultural context for this work. Many people don’t realize that this was the first book Lewis wrote after his conversion to Christianity, and it was also his first work of fiction. The references in this edition include language translations (like Latin); allusions to other authors and their works; and even references to some of Lewis’ later works, like Mere Christianity and The Chronicles of Narnia. The part most interesting to me was the afterword which C.S. Lewis wrote ten years after the book’s publication. In this afterword, Lewis points out what he thought were the flaws and shortcomings in the book. Why he didn’t re-write it, I’m not sure, but you have to admire his honest criticism of his own work.

Overall, I would recommend this book to true C.S. Lewis fans. This book isn’t exactly his most popular work, and it definitely isn’t his most easily understood work. If you enjoy reading and owning Lewis’ books though, this is the edition of The Pilgrim’s Regress that you want on your shelf. In fact, I think it looks quite nice next to my Annotated Edition of The Screwtape Letters, by a different publisher. It is my hope more publishers continue to release nice, hardcover, annotated editions of his work. Until that time, be sure to check out Eerdmans’ selection of recently published Lewis books, like God in the Dock and Letters to an American Lady. They are “just” plain editions, but the cover art matches up with this book, a small effort in detail for which I always applaud publishers for making.watch full Ghost in the Shell film online

This book was provided to me for free by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. in exchange for an honest review. If you found this review helpful. please click here and hit Yes!tempat wisata di yogyakarta

Radical Discipleship and Consecrated Life (Ignatius Press and Pauline Books and Media)

In 2013, Pope Francis declared that there will be a Year of Consecrated Life. It will run from November 30, 2014 (First Sunday of Advent) and will close on the February 2, 2014 (World Day of Consecrated Life). Several books have been printed by multiple publishers to help us better understand the consecrated life. Two such books, which I will be reviewing today, are Radical Discipleship from Ignatius Press and Consecrated Life from Pauline Books and Media.

Radical Discipleship is the latest release from one of my favorite Cardinals, Francis Arinze. It begins with a brief glimpse at consecrated life in Scripture and the early Church. There are two examples from Scripture, which we should all know too well. The first is Jesus calling one man and telling him to leave the dead to bury their dead, and the other is about the rich, young man whom he tells to sell all he has and give it to the poor. These two passages in Scripture always cause people to pause in shock, but it just goes to show you that the consecrated life isn’t for everyone, and it also requires great sacrifice. After these Scriptural examples, we get to read what the Early Church Fathers have to say about the consecrated life and are given examples of some of the first monastics, like St. Anthony of Egypt.

After this introduction, there are chapters which discuss the different types of consecrated life; the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience; the community aspect of consecrated life; and consecrated life’s impact both on society and the Church. Chapter Three: The Consecrated Life in Numbers was a bit of a wake up call to me. It was only six pages long, but it also provided a stark reality on the dwindling numbers of those devoted to the consecrated life. All these numbers are from 2011, but let’s look at some of them. There are 7 billion people in the world with 1.2 billion (17.5%) being Catholics. Of the 1.2 billion Catholics, there are 400,000 priests. That is 1 priest for every 3000 Catholics. It is encouraging to see that there are 3 million Catechists out there, but that number should be hire as well, as it is .25% of all Catholics. The book then closes with blessings and challenges of consecrated life and the responsibility of the Church in promoting the consecrated life.

There is a lot of information packed in this brief book, but in true Cardinal Arinze fashion he makes his message simple and meaningful. If you are looking for a good introduction to the consecrated life, this is the book for you. I highly recommend this for seminarians and those discerning other vocations. I also recommend it for those who have already accepted their vocations or families of those with a member or potential member of the consecrated life. You will walk away from this book with a better understanding and deeper appreciation for the consecrated life and those who accept this vocation.

Consecrated Life was an apostolic exhortation given by Pope John Paul II on March 25, 1996. This was issued after a synod in October 1994, and like many elements of his papacy was leading up to The Great Jubilee of 2000. The documentary is divided into three chapters:

1. The Origins of the Consecrated Life in the Mystery of Christ and of the Trinity
2. Consecrated Life as a Sign of Communion in the Church
3. Consecrated Life: Manifestation of God’s Love in the World

The most interesting section to me was entitled “New possibilities of presence and action.” In this section, Pope John Paul II addresses women and their role in the Church. He nowhere states that women should be allowed to become priests, but he does stress that women’s gifts, though different than men’s, are equally important. He then goes on to stress the importance of two female saints, Teresa of Jesus and Catherine of Siena, who were the first two women to be named Doctors of the Church. He closes this section by saying “Women occupy a place in thought and action which is unique and decisive. It depends on them to promote a ‘new feminism’ which rejects the temptation of imitating models of ‘male domination’ in order to acknowledge and affirm the true genius of women in every aspect of the life of society, and overcome all discrimination, violence and exploitation.”

This was a beautiful, but theologically deep work penned by John Paul II. Like other works of his, Pauline Books and Media anniversary editions are uniform in size and contain commentary. This makes it perfect for individual or small group study. The only thing I would change about it is making it hardcover, but that is a small quibble. Be sure to check out other works of Pope John Paul II, such as Mother of the Redeemer and Guardian of the Redeemer.download film Fifty Shades Darker 2017

These books were provided to me for free by Ignatius Press and Pauline Books and Media, respectively, in exchange for honest reviews. If you found these reviews helpful, please click here and/or here and hit Yes!