girltalk Blog

Apr 8

30: Three Decades of Songs for the Church

2014 at 4:27 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Book and Music Reviews

We all have songs that we grew up hearing—in the car, at home, at concerts—that if we put together into one album or playlist would be a kind of soundtrack for our lives. Well, the new Sovereign Grace Music album 30: Three Decades of Songs for the Church is just such a playlist for me. I am so grateful that in the kindness of God this is the music I grew up on: songs of Christ-centered joy, faith, and celebration for the church. Here’s the heart behind this new album:

For thirty years, Sovereign Grace Music has been producing Christ-exalting songs and training for the local church. To celebrate God’s faithfulness, we asked a few friends to record 14 of our most well known songs. This album is the result. We’re incredibly grateful we get to write songs for the church and hope these fresh renditions will lead you to glory in the Savior whose praises will never end.

Learn more about 30: Three Decades of Songs for the Church at the album page.

Nov 6

CJ Mahaney’s Christmas Book List 2013

2013 at 9:15 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Book and Music Reviews

As my kids keep reminding me, the holidays are just around the corner. To give you plenty of time to shop for Christmas, here is our eighth annual list of CJ’s book recommendations. I’m so excited about all of these new books, I might only put books on my Christmas list this year. Enjoy!

The Guns At Last Light: The War in Western Europe (1944-1945) by Rick Atkinson

The Boys In The Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

Storm Kings: The Untold History of America’s First Tornado Chasers by Lee Sandlin

Frozen In Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff

Unsinkable: The Full Story of the RMS Titanic by Daniel Allen Butler

Lincoln’s Greatest Speech: The Second Inaugural by Ronald C White Jr.

A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II by Adam Makos

God’s Forever Family: The Jesus People Movement in America by Larry Eskridge

Tolkien and C.S. Lewis: The Gift of Friendship by Colin Duriez

The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill Defender Of The Realm 1940-1965 by William Manchester and Paul Reid

Dinner with Churchill: Policy Making At The Dinner Table by Cita Stelzer

Wheelmen: Lance Armstrong, the Tour de France and the Greatest Sports Conspiracy Ever by Reed Albergotti and Vanessa O’Connell

Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow

The Mystery of Courage by William Ian Miller

Letters From Mississippi; Reports from Civil Rights Volunteers & Freedom School Poetry of the 1964 Freedom Summer ed. by Elizabeth Martinez

The Missing Ink: The Lost Art of Letter Writing by Philip Hensher

Gettysburg: The Last Invasion by Allen C. Guelzo

Oct 10

girltalk links {books}

2012 at 8:35 pm   |   by Janelle Bradshaw Filed under Book and Music Reviews

Justin Taylor asks author Faith Cook to recommend some biographies of Christian women: These godly women “serve as a beacon for our own day, guiding us through the confusion and pitfalls of our own generation.”

Over at The Gospel Coalition, Nicole reviews bestselling author Lysa TerKeurst’s latest book, Unglued: “Ranked #9 in Christian Living and #1 in Theology, this Amazon bestseller has one striking—and serious—omission.”

Here’s what we’re reading right now:

Carolyn - God’s Glory in Salvation Through Judgment by James M. Hamilton, Jr.

Nicole - Keeping the Ten Commandments by J.I. Packer

Kristin - Faith on Trial by Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Janelle - The Hole in Our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung

Nov 23

CJ Mahaney’s Christmas Book List 2011

2011 at 3:13 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Book and Music Reviews | Homemaking | Holidays

Back by popular demand… unbroken

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption By Laura Hillenbrand branch

Branch Rickey By Jimmy Breslin shallows

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains By Nicholas Carr 1861

1861: The Civil War Awakening By Adam Goodheart

westWest by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life By Jerry West mincemeat

Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory By Ben Macintyre brenner

The Brenner Assignment: The Untold Story of the Most Daring Spy Mission of World War II By Patrick K. O’Donnell

silent Silent Running: My Years on a World War II Attack Submarine By James F. Calvert

moment A Moment in Time: An American Story of Baseball, Heatbreak, and Grace By Ralph Branca scorecasting

Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won By Tobias J. Moskowitz and L. Jon Wertheim


The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern By Victor Davis Hanson

Aug 1

“An Intenser Relish”

2011 at 11:17 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Book and Music Reviews

When it comes to books, there are really two categories: the Bible, and everything else. While the great works of men certainly reflect our Lord’s creativity, the Bible contains the very Words of God. That’s why the psalmist appropriately gushes, “More to be desired are they than gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb” (Psalm 19:10).

And that’s why Horatius Bonar warns: “See that your relish for the Bible be above every other enjoyment, and the moment you begin to feel greater relish for any other book, lay it down till you have sought deliverance from such a snare, and obtained from the Holy Spirit an intenser relish, a keener appetite for the Word of God (Jer 15:16).”

Yesterday we received a sweet email about a woman with a keen appetite for the Word of God. Jayne writes that, “My Dad’s favorite memory of his mother is of her kneading bread on the kitchen counter with her Bible open, dusted by the flour. She had 11 children and made all the family bread from scratch each day. Money was in very short supply but her love of the Word was plentiful. Working within her limitations of strength, time & duty, she found a way to fill her days with reading the Word.”

Similarly, Donald Whitney points to the example of another woman whose “longings for the things of God reached as high as ever” even when “her time and energy had new and severe limits.”

So if you find your relish for God’s Word has diminished, then pray as the Psalmist did: “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Psalm 119:18). Then dust off your Bible and read.

—from the archives

Jun 24

Friday Favorites

2011 at 11:40 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Book and Music Reviews

Wrestling with an Angel: A Story of Love, Disability, and the Lesson of Grace

by Greg Lucas


“I didn’t want to read this book. I knew these tear-stained but hope-filled pages would jostle me out of my comfort zone and shake me up. C.S. Lewis wrote that he paradoxically loved The Lord of the Rings because it ‘broke his heart’—and Greg Lucas’ writing does the same for me. And it’s for that reason that I heartily commend this book—especially for dads. This is just the book many of us need to taste afresh the goodness of God and the grace of the gospel even as we long for the day when this broken world will be made right.” —Justin Taylor

Jun 10

Friday Favorites

2011 at 10:11 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Book and Music Reviews

A new gift for college-bound students:

Thriving at College: Make Great Friends, Keep Your Faith, and Get Ready for the Real World!

by Alex Chediak


A few more suggestions from last year:

My favorite gift to give grads is a laundry basket filled with a towel set a thing of laundry soap and a big jar filled with quarters along with the book, Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung. —Jessica

A college emergency kit: Sewing supplies, first aid kit, shoe goo, phone card, etc. —Rebecca

I just graduated college and this year my parents got me a kitchen aid mixer, which I am absolutely thrilled about! It is kind of a large gift but for any bride or grad who loves to bake/cook, then this is the perfect gift. —Paige

Knowing God by J.I. Packer is my favorite grad gift to give because it was in college that I slowly studied this book, digesting it a little at a time and it was the first time I ever understood the place of my faith in my life. It’s still my favorite book. —Kerry