Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Review: Play with Fire Discovering Fierce Faith, Unquenchable Passion, and a Life-Giving God By Bianca Juarez Olthoff

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1182 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Zondervan (Aug. 30 2016)
  • Sold by: Zondervan CA (CA SOR)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01863JK76

Book Description

 Play with Fire, the debut book by popular speaker and teacher Bianca Juarez Olthoff, is the reminder that God isn’t waiting until you have more resources or a spouse or a job so he can use you. He’s ready to use you now.

Using the mythical creature, the Phoenix, which was also referenced by early church leaders, she parallels this story with God’s work in her own life, highlighting the beauty of reinvention with fire as both the impetus and the method for change. Olthoff reminds us that we serve a God who is redemptive and can take the worst situations and use them for His glory.

Play With Fire is a bible-infused message that will help women discover:

  • The way out of the middle is moving forward
  • The personal and powerful nature of the Holy Spirit
  • The power and sacrifice of transformation
  • The unique calling and purpose of life involves transformation

With Olthoff’s distinct style, strong storytelling gifts, and powerful bible teaching, Play with Fire will remind readers that God has huge dreams for them. In Bianca’s words, “He’s whispering in the wind and speaking through the fire and shouting in silence the extraordinary dream He is birthing in you. His dream for you is far greater than the dream you have for yourself. It’s not your identity or income or influence that will make this happen. Like Zechariah 4:6 says, “’It’s not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord.” It’s time to play with fire.

Everyone needs a friend like Bianca. I’m certain my mind would explode if I had two. She isn’t afraid to run with knives, grab her knees and jump off big cliffs, or see how thick the ice is by running out on it. She also isn’t afraid to live her life as if God’s promises are really true, rather than a bunch of right- sounding doctrine we interact with by just agreeing. This isn’t just a book about Bianca’s journey. It’s an invitation to yours. It’s not a trail of bread crumbs Bianca is giving us, it’s a box of matches. She dares us to light the first one, throw it back in the box we’ve made of our faith, and see what happens next. (–Bob Goff, New York Times bestselling author of Love Does)

Bianca, thank you for being so vulnerable and sharing your story as well as the truths you’ve discovered along the way. This book is a treasure. If you’re experiencing a struggle, desire to know God on a more passionate level, or simply want to be encouraged, you’ve found the perfect book! (-Kari Jobe)

En fuego! Bianca is on fire. Her words form a pathway--- through her own journey---to freedom and transformation. Her raw honesty and unwavering belief in God’s plan for your life is contagious, and I’m excited to see how this book sparks a wildfire of faith. (–Jen Hatmaker, speaker and New York Times bestselling author of For the Love)

Change and transformation isn’t easy, but using her personal story and the stories of others throughout the Bible, Bianca shares with us ways to not only survive the flames of life, but THRIVE in the midst of trials. As a mentor and guide in her life, I’m excited that Bianca shares her journey to help others become the people God has called them to be through understanding the power of the Holy Spirit. Not only has Bianca written about the transforming power of God, she has lived it out. (–Christine Caine, bestselling author, teacher, and founder of A21 and Propel Women)

Having the privilege of being one of Bianca’s best friends since high school, I saw firsthand how she has loved, lived, and led as Jesus did. Her book, Play with Fire, brings a real, transparent truth with a splash of her quirky sense of humor. These are a few of the qualities that I love about her! I pray this book will ignite a fire in your life and encourage you to trust the Lord through the flames and enter into your own “Promised Land” in full faith. (–Jennie Finch, USA Olympic Softball Gold Medalist)

When someone reads Bible Scriptures regarding fire, they usually interpret them within the context of sin or damnation. However, Bianca’s clear voice in Play with Fire is carefully crafted to convey God’s holy presence and the divine power to change the inner life of sincere seekers desiring a radical change. As her father and pastor, I am wholesomely proud of her work! I’ve witnessed my daughter transform into a woman of strength and integrity, and that is nothing short than going through a refining fire. (–Pancho Juárez, Pastor, Calvary Chapel, Montebello, California)

I love this book written by my fiery Puerto Rican sister, Bianca! Her transparent stories will stir your passion and position you to f lourish amid the fires of chaos, exhaustion, and confusion. (–Lisa Bevere, Messenger International, bestselling author of Lioness Arising, Kissed the Girls and Made Them Cry, and Fight Like a Girl)

Beyond the narrative, the humorous anecdotes, and personal stories, Play with Fire is proof of God’s redeeming love. I was reminded that fire---those painful moments in life---can refine or ruin me, but God will see to walking me through. Bianca wrote her story with grace and care as further proof that all things work together for the glory of the kingdom. Such an inspiring read! (–Jasmine Star, Branding Strategist and Marketing Consultant)

Play with Fire will make you laugh, make you cry, and open your eyes to the power of God to transform your life. Bianca Juárez Olthoff has the rare ability to weave beautiful Biblical truth into her own story of transformation. You will love the power and freshness that Bianca teaches with. Play with Fire is the book you stay up late to finish because you can’t put it down! (–Alli Worthington, author of Breaking Busy: How to Find Peace and Purpose in a World of Crazy)

About the Author

I’m a writer and teacher in love with two men: Jesus and my husband, Matt. [You might not find this funny, but I laugh at myself, so it all balances out.]

I didn’t learn how to read until I was eleven, but now I can’t put down books. I ask questions, but most times I don’t want the answer unless it’s something I want to hear. I believe in a faithful God, even when I’m faithless. I’m a woman who loves God and is committed to speaking truth when it hurts, loving when it’s hard, and living life out loud.

I spend most of my time working as Chief Storyteller for The A21 Campaign, a global anti-human trafficking organization. By day I’m a freedom writer who advocates for justice, but at night I’m a step-mom who loves to have dance parties with Parker, Ryen, and Ricci [aka The Cutest Dog In The World].
Passionate about God’s word, I teach around the globe and blog about life, love, and the pursuit of Jesus.
Whether discussing topics from justice to pop culture, I’ve spent ten years building the Church and mobilizing God’s people to action alongside Matt, Lead Outreach Pastor at Mariners Church in Irvine, California. I am so excited about the publication of my first book, Play With Fire, which you can pre-order today!

My Review

I discovered author and speaker Bianca Juarez Olthoff while watching the Propel series. While Christine Caine hosted the series, Bianca was one of the Christian leader participants. I enjoyed listening to her views on women and biblical truths. I also am following along with the Play With Fire Propel Book Club on Facebook. The first 2 books the book club covered were by Caine and by Alli Worthington. Both excellent books. I really enjoyed Bianca Juarez Olthoff's Play With Fire as well.

Play With Fire is a stand alone book but I also noticed that there is a study guide and a DVD. I recommended Christine Caine's Unashamed to my ladies bible study group and we are studying it this Fall. I would also recommend Play With Fire.

Play With Fire is a good read for women who are beginning their walk with Christ. Bianca goes through her life story with us and we travel through grief, desperation, and pain with her. But we also get to celebrate her victories with her. And her search for a purpose. I liked her A-ha moment in Chapter 1 where she decides to transform her life...she gets her butt off the couch and gets out there. She realizes that she needs to do something important with her life. It is a good lesson for all of us. And in the end she realizes that everything she been through in life is preparing her for her life as a Christian speaker, pastor's wife, stepmother, and now author.

I like Bianca. She is real and honest and a devout Christian. She has shared her life story with us. She is encouraging. By sharing her story with us we are encouraged to believe in ourselves and get moving. We need to find our own Promised Land.

I like that at the end of the acknowledgements she writes: And if you read this page too, thank you for staying through the whole journey. You are my favorite.

Well Bianca, you did great job with your first book. I am looking forward to many more.

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