I Am Second by Dave Sterrett and Doug Bender {Book Review and How My Book Was Stolen}

by Dave Sterrett and Doug Bender


Countless stories. One incredible ending.

A major league baseball player. a Tennessee pastor. A reality TV star. a single mom. A multi-platinum rocker. What do these people have in common? They’ve all hit bottom. And none of them stayed there.

Famous or unfamiliar, these are the stories of real people who reached the end of their strength, the end of their control, and found the most surprising truths. It taught them not to rely on self or substance but to lean on the only completely reliable source of love, hope, and freedom: the God who created them. Shocking in their honesty, inspiring in their courage, these testimonies are critical reminders that no one is too far from God to find him.

Join these and thousands more who have discovered the lifechanging power in putting God first and proclaiming, “I am Second.

Description from Thomas Nelson.

My Thoughts:

I Am Second is a book of stories, short glimpses into how God profoundly turned sinners to Himself. Each chapter stands alone, but a few overlap in a beautiful way just as our real lives do.

Each story encourages the reader that God is still working in powerful ways. It is a reminder to those already living second, that we are called to share the gospel and live out God’s love in our lives. Reading testimonies can rekindle our first love so we can also say with conviction, “I Am Second!”

My Book Was Stolen:

I was reading I Am Second daily, one chapter at a time. One evening, I took it with me in the car. At the last minute, we decided to stop for ice cream downtown a large city in Bolivia. The car was parked on a side street with no one watching  the vehicle which was a mistake we won’t make again. Coming back to the car, we could not get my door open and noticed papers were scattered about the front seats. We had been robbed. After a good look around, the only things missing were the front of the car stereo and my I Am Second review book. It struck me so funny, in a country where Spanish is the spoken language that someone would want my English book full of God at work changing lives. I have prayed since then that the book will land in the hands of people who speak and read English. {Lord, use that book to change lives especially the ones who took it in the first place.}

Connect with I Am Second:

I believe both the book and the I Am Second web site, can make a difference. Perhaps you can think of someone who would benefit from reading I Am Second.

Buy the book, watch videos, or follow on Twitter.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Love, Jan by Jan Bonn {Book Review}


Eighteen-year-old Hilary Bonn was just starting out in life, preparing for college and adventures beyond her small-town beginnings, when leukemia interrupted all of her plans. To help her body fight the ugly disease, Hilary required a stem cell transplant. While she endured PICC lines, pills, and endless precautions against germs, her family encouraged her and one another with Christmas lights, thoughtful words, warm hugs, soft music, action movies, entertaining books, and their abundant love.

During this time, Jan Bonn kept family and friends updated of her daughter’s treatment and progress through frequent e-mail messages. Love, Jan is a compilation of these messages. Jan’s accounts of medical consultations and procedures, the uncertainties of life-changing decisions, and times of expectant waiting are infused with humor, insight, and hope told from the heart of a loving mother and faithful child of God.

Love, Jan, Hilary’s story of faith, hope, and joy, will inspire and encourage stem cell transplant patients and those who love them.

From Love, Jan

My Thoughts:

“Death is not an ending; it is just a temporary separation. Yet, thinking about that temporary separation makes me cry.” (page 66)

Painful words from a loving mom facing months of treatment with her daughter who at eighteen discovered she had leukemia.

Email can be such a blessing for loved ones who want to be kept informed. That is exactly what Jan Bonn’s intention was as she reported regular happenings in and out of the hospital, daily events, and incidentals like buying a computer from a crazy man (which was amusing). She also encourages people to help the National Marrow Donor Program  and become more informed.

Love, Jan is a compilation of real, heartfelt emails. As Jan was being encouraged by emails people poured back and by those stepping up to help with fundraisers and needs, she was also encouraging her recipients and now the readers with what God was doing and how Hillary bravely faced her hardship.

If I am being honest, the beginning of the book was a little slow for me as I did not have personal ties to the family or situation. However, as the story unfolds it’s hard not to engage and root for Hillary. What I liked most was the insights and spiritual encouragement Jan both receives and shares as well as the joy which is apparent within the hard times.

I would recommend Love, Jan to families dealing with leukemia or any difficult path, moms, counselors, pastors, and people interested in medical stories.

This book was given to me by the author in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. {The author is a friend of a friend, but I do not know her nor had I heard her story previously.}