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The Chai Cookbook by Janie Hoffman, A Book Review

Wow, right off the bat I am going to admit just how clueless I was about Chai. I thought this was simply a tea at Starbucks. Yeah like I said, clueless. What intrigued me about this book was all the talk about Chai being some kind off super seed. Online talk was that Chai is high in this and high in that. Hmmm could a tiny little seed replace a supplement or two? I wondered.

Janie Hoffman’s book The Chai Cookbook is not just a cookbook. Her story at the outset really peaked my interest. She shares her challenging journey to better health and how Chai seeds entered her line of sight. She explains all the different things she tried and that Chai seeds were not really on her radar until a friend mentioned them. Then low and behold they became the focus of her better health pursuit.

Janie gives great background information of these little seeds. All the way back to the days of old these seeds were known to give energy and stamina to warriors. She continues on with what these Chai seeds are packed full of….Omega 3’s. Yet my favorite little tidbit is that the “Chai seed is chameleon-like: the seeds take on the flavor of whatever you pair them with.” Now that’s cool and like she states in the book, you can put them in or on everything!

In the Chai Cookbook you also get the low down on buying Chai, storing it, nutritional profile of them, how much to use, using them as a flour or egg substitute, and how to make a gel that can be used in drinks and meal recipes.

I can honestly say that after reading this book I am very eager to try out the recipes. They all look easy and delicious. Unfortunately, where I am right now, I have to wait for my Chai seeds to arrive in the mail. Once that happens I fully expect to do a follow-up review with the results. I plan to start a Chai revolution in my kitchen and help my family ring in the New Year with Chai health.

“Blogging for Books provided this book to me for free in exchange for my honest review.”


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hand in Hand by Randy Alcorn, A book review

In Randy Alcorn’s book hand in Hand, he talks about the beauty of God’s sovereignty and meaningful human choice. No matter if you lean toward Calvinist or Arminian, there is much to learn in this book. I for one was unaware there was a bit more to either view, as well as extremes of both. One of his quotes from Charles Spurgeon was great. The tail end of it I really connected with. “I have long ago given up the idea of making all my beliefs into a system. I believe, but I cannot explain. I fall before the majesty of revelation, and adore the infinite Lord.” I hope to remember this the next time I get into a conversation about what side I lean toward.

One chapter really had me ready to throw down the book.  It was full of a lot of back and forth ideas about the four main views he mentions throughout the book; Hard Determinism (Hyper-Calvinists), Soft Determinism Compatibilism (Calvinists), Libertarianism (Arminians), and Molinism (Calvinists or Arminians). One minute this chapter was over my head and then the next it felt silly. Now, however, I can say I was glad I persevered through that small area of confusion to proceed to the end. I was well worth it.

Couple points he makes that stuck with me are:

  1. Read the books Calvinists and Arminians write – not just what their opponents say they believe. Personally I know I often will take second hand knowledge believing it is the right information. Well more often than not only part of the whole was right. The unfortunate thing for me is that what they told me is what gets stuck in my head. I need to learn to get the first-hand knowledge on my own and from the source, the direct source.
  2. “I love studying theology. But if the Bible never challenges us to rethink our theology, it’s because our theology, not our Bible, is our authority. We should seek to change that.” He talks about how he grappled with the proper translation and meanings of a text. He said “the temptation was always to see the text in light of the doctrine we’d been taught rather than letting the text change our doctrinal views.”

As Christians we were given the Holy Spirit to help us, guide us, and be our intimate connection to God. After reading Randy’s book I plan to lean on the Holy Spirit a whole lot more than I have been and a whole lot less on other people’s view’s and ideas, to understand what God is telling me about Himself in His book.

This book really opened up my eyes to the other views of Christianity. I always thought it was most important to know my view and where I stand. Now I see that there is great importance in knowing what the other views are and what Biblical backing they use to come to that view. Randy Alcorn gives us a great starting point, with lots of resources to steer you in the direction of determining and explaining what you believe, beyond the basic core beliefs. Randy’s book will help you gain great info for those conversations that take you a step beyond basic Christianity.

“Blogging for books provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review.”