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Ten Book Review

Book Review by Ann Jonas, Tradebook Buyer - CSB/SJU Bookstores
this review was published in the St. Cloud Visitor

Ten: How the Commandments Can Change Your Life by Mary Elizabeth Sperry; Franciscan Media; September 2012; 144 pps.; $14.99

It is easy to see the Ten Commandments as "outdated, legalistic, not meaningful to us," states Mary Elizabeth Sperry in the introduction of her newest book, Ten: How the Commandments Can Change Your Life.  The book takes a new and updated look at the Ten Commandments, giving us examples and suggestions to make them relevant and critical in our life.

The book contains ten chapters (one for each commandment), along with an introduction and conclusion.  Each chapter examines a commandment, expounding on its content.  For instance, the chapter on the Fourth Commandment, "Honor your father and mother," is titled "Giving Respect," and addresses our relationship with all who have authority over us, not just our parents. The Fifth Commandment, "You shall not kill," does not simply prohibit homicide; the chapter stresses the need to recognize the dignity and value of each human being.

Each chapter contains an explanation of the commandment and how it pertains to our life, followed by "Points to Remember," which summarizes the main aspects of the chapter. "Culture Connection" lists a book, movie, or song that articulates the theme of each commandment and a role model is listed, as well, for every chapter.  Questions to ponder-Sperry suggests journaling-are listed at the end of each chapter, along with a short, applicable prayer.

Learning how to live "in right relationship to God, self, others, and things" is the essence, explains Sperry, of the Ten Commandments. Her book gives us a clearer understanding of the commandments' relevance today and illustrates ways to use them as guideposts to make good decisions in our daily life.

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