Review of Dare to Begin Again

(All links are my Amazon Affiliate links.)

About the Book:

Genre: Christian nonfiction

We all have struggles and challenges in life. Whether they are of our own making or not, things don’t always work out. Sometimes, we just give up on our dreams and goals.

But it doesn’t have to be that way! God is a God of new beginnings, and throughout the entire Bible, we read about people who were stuck, disappointed, and faced impossible situations—people God freed.

Rosalinda Torres Rivera challenges us to Dare to Begin Again. Using stories from her own life, other people, and biblical times, Rosalinda offers inspirational, down-to-earth advice on beginning again. Each chapter tackles a different issue where you may be “stuck”—such as an inability to forgive, trust, or hope—and examples of people who overcame similar challenges. Practical tasks at the end of each chapter walk you through a DARE challenge (Decide, Allow, Rise, Enjoy) to help you move closer to a fresh start.

Rosalinda is the daughter of Victor Torres, an ex-gang member from Brooklyn, New York, and his wife, Carmen, founders of the New Life For Youth ministry. She has seen more than twenty thousand people get out of tough situations and turn their lives around.

“They’re people whose tales of transformation prove God is still at work,” she says. “He’s written and re-written their life’s chapters—and He’s willing to do the same for you.”
It takes a commitment, but with the help of God, inspiring, true stories, and practical applications, you can Dare to Begin Again.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Rivera, Rosalinda

Rosalinda Torres Rivera is the executive director of New Life For Youth, one of Virginia’s largest residential facilities helping to rehabilitate people from a life of addiction. She has been reaching out to families in crisis, poverty, and hopelessness for over twenty-five years. Using her business skills, Rosalinda developed a model of social enterprise to sustain the non-profit New Life For Youth by creating businesses that train thousands of young people in job skills and leadership.

She is also the president of New Life Enterprises, the founder of Mercy Moms Home, a place for single mothers to find hope and healing, and the founder of Bella Women’s Ministry in Richmond, Virginia, which hosts annual conferences for over five hundred women.
Each year, Rosalinda is a featured presenter at various events nationwide. She has ministered throughout the world and has traveled to over twenty-two countries. From the White House to the local community, she has been nationally recognized for her impact in bringing hope to the hopeless.

Rosalinda was appointed to the Board of Governors of the National Association of Nonprofit Organizations & Executives, headquartered in Washington, DC. Style Magazine selected her as a “Top 40 under 40” leader for her impact in Richmond, Virginia.

In 2018, the Valentine Museum in Richmond will feature the work of her family as one of the city’s first Hispanic families to impact Richmond in the non-profit sector.

Rosalinda is the daughter of Victor Torres, an ex-gang member from the streets of New York, and his wife, Carmen, the founders of New Life For Youth and pastors of New Life Outreach International Church. She served as an associate producer on Victor, a movie about her father’s journey from drugs and gangs to Jesus and redemption.

Rosalinda and her husband, Carlos, have three children: Alana, Gabriel, and Victor.

Blog Stops:

Be sure to check out all the stops on the tour!

blog tour banner for Dare to Begin Again

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Lila's Opinions:

The quality of the writing is excellent! Rosalinda Rivera writes with a unique voice and a conversational yet grammatically correct style. I loved the organization and formatting with the easy-to-understand chapter and sub-headings, too.

I agreed with and was touched by the thesis at the end of the introduction:

“There is light at the end of your tunnel. There is victory in your tomorrow. Stop complaining about your current situation and let's do something about it. I dare you to turn your story over to God. I dare you to begin again.” Yes, she does dare, sharing some practical thoughts at the end of each chapter in a D.A.R.E. format, Desire, Allow, Rise, and Enjoy.

There are many personal narratives. The author uses many stories from her life and her parents' life to illustrate the main points. She also includes many riveting anecdotes from others. I especially loved the reference to Back to the Future and its flux capacitor. “Listening requires active participation. The better you get at it, the less likely you'll need a DeLorean or a crazy, wild-haired scientist to set things right.” A few of the stories made me want to cry, a few of them made me laugh.

I gave this book 4-stars, because though not quite as practical as I had hoped, the motivation and inspiration were great, as were the Bible studies for each chapter's lesson.

Favorite quotes:

Feeling stuck? So were all these Biblical characters: paralyzed man, Naomi, demon-possessed man, Daniel, Joseph, Jonah…

Feeling stuck? So were all these Biblical characters: paralyzed man, Naomi, demon-possessed man, Daniel, Joseph, Jonah…

“We learn to exist with a smell in our lives... Without realizing it, you can allow stinky circumstances to become your norm. If you want to begin again, you have to determine why a fresh start is important.”

“I want to challenge you to stop blaming others and stop making excuses. Smother the temptation to point your finger at someone else. We have to stop blaming before we are free to begin believing.”

“Because of His grace, He gives us the very thing we don't deserve, and His mercy holds back what we should receive. Lovingly, He does not force His gifts into our hands—it's up to us to open our hands and receive them. So we can begin again.”

“We must turn the key and free ourselves from ongoing, self-induced captivity. It's time to walk away, free from thoughts that say, I don't want to get burned or embarrassed again.”

“In that season of innocence, he [Joseph] dared much. He dared to dream and he dared to hope. Bullies are afraid of those who dare.”

“The truth is, no one who has offended, hurt, stolen, abused, wounded, or bullied deserves forgiveness. But somewhere in life, we all fall into one or more of these categories, whether we intended harm or not.”

“Stop pushing away caring and godly people who speak truth. To begin again, you need to surround yourself with those who will not tell you what your itching ears want to hear.”

“But remember, construction often looks like destruction when you start.”

“...Thankfulness is the fuel that feeds our minds, bodies, and spirits with renewed get up and go. It's the high octane energy available to us every day. But we have to ensure we don't get so busy or arrogant that we drive right by it.”

(I received this book for free from the publisher. The decision to write a review, as well as the opinions expressed in it, are all my own. I was not compensated for this review.)