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The Next Right Thing (Book Reviews)

By Benjamin H. Liles

          While I want to praise Emily Freeman's book, The Next Right Thing, as well as her ability to write well, I also find it hard to give this book all the merit it's due. One thing I do like is the tag line for this book: A simple, soulful practice for making life decisions. I see that tag and I have this glimpse of Jesus Christ walking up a mountain to take time to settle down and spend time with God, the Father. While He sits there to quiet Himself, and to spend prayer time with the One who called Him to give His life a ransom for many, He sees His disciples out on the Sea of Galilee getting tossed and driven by waves and wind.

          Don't go and get me wrong, I'm not about to just trash this book. As I said, Emily has a gift for writing and she proves that with this book. I love how she starts off the book: "The admissions building smells like initiative, angst, and Y2K." It actually has a wonderful hook there. I want to read more. So I do. I get all of a few chapters in and then I have this thought, "This kind of sounds like a self-help book." I've never been a big fan of books like that.

          However, before I make it sound I hate this book, which I actually do not feel about it, there are redeeming qualities about it. With chapter titles such as Do the Next Right Thing, Become a Soul Minimalist, Picture God, Stay in Today, Don't Rush Clarity, Don't Give Your Critic Words, and these last two gems: Expect to be surprised as well as Wait with Hope, the reader becomes aware that Emily is showing us how to get to the point where Jesus did with God; simply to find time to get alone, to pray to Him for needed guidance, and to do "the next right thing." I love how Christ's brother James said it, "Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world" (James 1:27, Berean Study).

          Overall, the book has its good notes and possibly a couple sour notes as does a good piano concert (I don't mean it's awful at all, just there are movements within the larger context that seem a bit, "meh"). Really and truly, Emily has done a great job with her book. It hits the overall message she's looking and desiring for. It's why it's #11 on Amazon's Christian Women's Issues. So, really and truly I believe most women may actually enjoy the book. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell for an honest and fair review.

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