About the Book


Book: The Choice is Yours

Author: Barbara Dahlgren

Genre: Religion/Christian Living/Devotional

Release Date: November 2019

Do you stress over making decisions? Does the possibility of making the wrong choice paralyze you? In The Choice Is Yours: 52 Choices for Happier Lives, Barbara Dahlgren explores decisions we face daily. She does so with the spiritual insight and practicality developed through fifty years of ministry. The Choice Is Yours is drawn from Dahlgren’s blog, Barbara’s Banter: taking my faith but not myself too seriously, and is suitable for a devotional or a Bible study tool. Each chapter includes practical suggestions, a key Bible verse, and the option for the reader to jot down their own tips for making better choices in daily life.

Click HERE to purchase your copy.

About the Author



Barbara Dahlgren is a humorist, freelance writer, and speaker whose articles have appeared all over the world. Married to a pastor, she and her husband have served churches in Florida, West Virginia, Kentucky, Washington, Michigan, and California where they currently reside. She blogs at Barbara’s Banter: taking my faith but not myself too seriously and is the author of Zorro and Me, a humorous look at the couple’s adventures in ministry.

More from Barbara

When my granddaughter was in preschool, she came home one day and was sad. Her mom asked what was wrong. Sophia replied, “My teacher said I didn’t make good choices today.”
I always felt her teacher had a great deal of wisdom. Instead of saying Sophia was naughty or bad, she planted a seed of thought into her little life about making better choices. Better choices lead to happier lives. In a way, that was the inspiration for my latest blog theme which led to this book.
My first book was called Zorro and Me. It was about my husband, whom I’ve nicknamed Zorro, and our experiences in 50 years of ministry. Usually known as a humorist, I try to intersperse a lot of personal experiences in my speaking and writing. My philosophy is to take my faith, but not myself, too seriously. I think we would all be happier if we chose to laugh more and criticize less.
Here’s a little quiz to get to know me better. Which one do you think is false?
  1. I was born many years ago in the foothills of the Ozarks in a town with a population of 10.
  2. While on a mission trip to Nigeria, our children were held captive by the police for a few hours.
  3. My son was unexpectedly born in a hotel room while we were traveling, so we used a dresser drawer as a baby bed.
  4. I’ve mounted a camel near the Great Pyramids in Egypt, climbed the Great Wall in China, leaned with the Tower of Pisa in Italy, and been on safari in Kenya.
  5. While on a teen trip touring the White House, one of my children became ill, so the Secret Service took him outside where he barfed behind a big bush on the White House lawn. It’s the one on the left when you look at pictures of the White House.
    Guess what! They are all true. There’s more, but I don’t want to give all my secrets away today.

My Review


This is a very difficult review for me to write. As a Christian book reviewer, my goal is to serve the Lord through encouraging Christian authors and promoting their work because it glorifies God by pointing readers to Him. However, when there seems to be conflict in how God is being portrayed and how Scripture is being interpreted, the book does not sit well with me. We are to hold everything up to the light of Scripture, and when something does not align with God’s Word, we should not follow it. I am sorry to say that this was my experience in this case.

Barbara Dahlgren’s “The Choice is Yours” is a collection of fifty-two chapters, each of which represents a choice for living a happier life. Instead, though, I found it full of confusing contradictions and statements that do not reflect the Word of God. In some cases, the author’s wording is not clear, and while I can work out what I’m guessing she meant, I do not think that that is a solid approach to a book intended for devotional or Bible study purposes. The first red flag went up for me during the introduction, and I was hoping that it was only a blip on the radar, but sadly it went downhill from there. In hindsight, I suppose the subtitle (“52 Choices for a Happier Life”) should have invoked caution, because the author’s views on happiness do not agree with those of the Bible. She states that “We think we know what will make us happy, but we don’t. God knows, and God wants us to be happy”, and that “God wants us to do what He tells us to do for our own happiness.” While it’s true that God doesn’t want us to live in gloom and doom, our happiness isn’t His goal. We are to live to glorify Him, and doing so brings joy, which is different than happiness. Happiness isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it isn’t God’s goal, and it shouldn’t be our priority either.

Another bone of contention I have is with the author’s portrayal of Jesus. While Jesus ate with sinners, whom He came to earth to save and which describes each and every one of us, and He was naturally good-natured and pleasurable to be around, I draw the line at depicting Him as someone who participated in revelry, as the author seems to suggest. She also writes that He “emptied Himself of His divinity” when he came to earth, but this is untrue because Jesus was both fully divine and fully human. Kenosis is the term used to refer to Jesus’ self-emptying of His own will to accept God the Father’s will, but Jesus did not lose His divinity.

All of that being said, I cannot in good conscience recommend this book. I am not saying that the author has ill intent. I do, however, feel that the writing is not clear enough to follow without skewing the Bible’s meaning and Jesus’ identity. This could be very harmful to Bible-believing Christians, particularly those who are young or new to the faith, as well as unbelievers because the information is not correct. The way in which “The Choice is Yours” is set up is beneficial, though, with each chapter brief and containing a “Consider this” section to stimulate thoughtful reflection, “Suggestions for practicing this choice”, a Bible verse, and a few numbered lines for the reader to record their own suggestions for putting the choice into practice. If the content were revised and brought into line with Scripture, this could be a convenient book for daily readings to promote study of the Bible itself.  

I received a complimentary copy of this book through CelebrateLit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.


Blog Stops


Jacquelyn Lynn, November 24
Mary Hake, November 24
Older & Smarter?, November 27
CarpeDiem, November 30
Texas Book-aholic, December 2
janicesbookreviews, December 3
A Reader’s Brain, December 5



To celebrate her tour, Barbara is giving away the grand prize of a  $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.