It Really Is Home Sweet Home

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Someone once complained, “Home is a man’s refuge, a place of quiet and rest, says a certain writer. That’s true except for the telephone, the children, the floor sweeper, and the salesman at the door.”  While yes I will agree that there are a lot of distractions in the home, including technology and social media, I do believe home is where I find my best place of rest and refuge.  Yes, being a husband and a father does entail many responsibilities, yet I find that an evening with my wife and kiddos is much more enjoyable than having a “fun” fill evening away from them all by myself.  Home is important and it is special. Each one of us has special thoughts come to our minds when we think about our homes.  I believe that is true because home is not a house or an apartment or any building.  Home is found with people, with family. So don’t take the blessing of a home for granted, it truly is a gift from God.

Book Review: “One of the Few” By Jason B. Ladd

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In his book One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview author Jason Ladd gives the reader a personal glimpse into his journey of developing a natural worldview in contrast to his now Christian worldview after coming to faith in Jesus Christ. Ladd, a US Marine fighter pilot, depicts his personal struggles with the Christian faith and the world we live in from a military perspective. He shares Marine stories that connect with each topic as each chapter unveils new conclusions he developed as he discovered the reliability of moral absolutes.

The audio version of this book is narrated by Ladd himself and you can hear his personal convictions and sincerity come out as he reads his own words. Personally, I think this is a superb book and I greatly appreciate his evident study into the apologetic arguments that he presents. While this book is defiantly relevant to any serviceman, it is most applicable to anyone searching for real truth in the day we live in.  I highly recommend you read One of the Few.

Disclosure: I did receive a free review audio copy of this book from the author, but was not required to write a positive review.

Strange Glory is Strange Indeed

indexIn Charles Marsh’s book Strange Glory a descriptive biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer if given with an attempt to give more intimate details than other biographies. In his book Marsh goes from birth to execution in the life of Bonhoeffer. Marsh attempts to not only give the reader details of acts but also what exactly Bonhoeffer was feeling and thinking at different stages of his ministerial and anti-Nazi life.
To be quite honest I found this book to be very disappointing. Marsh’s writing capabilities are very provocative, but I feel he take several underserved liberties on his interpretation of Bonhoeffer’s personal life. Marsh openly alludes that Bonhoeffer had homosexual feelings for his close friend Eberhard Bethge. From my personal knowledge of other recorded writings on the life of Bonhoeffer, this opinion is unique to Marsh’s interpretation. This causes me to question if Marsh is pushing more of an agenda, than giving honest facts about the life of a minister who was killed in the wake of the terrible Nazi world. This being said, I would recommend that you pass on reading Strange Glory.
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Book Review: “Rewired” by Brandon Cox

Rewird-CoverOver the past several weeks I have been taking in some of the most applicable advice for our current age. That advice has come from Brandon Cox in his book Rewired: How using today’s technology can bring you back to deeper relationships, real conversations, and the age-old methods of sharing God’s love. In his book Brandon shares with his readers that the use of social media such as Twitter and Facebook are ideal settings for share the gospel to today’s up and coming generation. He encourages churches of any size, fashion, or denomination to stop being afraid of the online culture and to march into it with the goal of sharing Jesus by making real viable relationships via the web.
Some of you who read this will know that I have a personal friendship with Brandon, but I believe I’m not being bias when I say that this is a much needed read for each pastor and church leader. I am currently 33 years old and already feel behind on properly connection to the generation following me. I agree with Brandon that it is time that we stop toying around with blogs, websites, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and the like, and use this cyber territory for the glory of God. It is my summation that if you will take time to read this book, you will join me in thanking Brandon for this timely tool he has shared for the advancement of God’s love to a hurting and lonely world. Go read Rewired!

“Passion” by Louie Giglio

_240_360_Book.1131.coverIn the book Passion: The Bright Light of Glory author Louie Giglio shares the heart and the drive of the Passion Conferences. The book is actually a compilation of many messages given by various speakers such as John Piper, Francis Chan, Beth Moore, Judah Smith, and Christine Caine. All of these messages were given at Passion Conferences and hold the core heart of what Giglio desires for all Christians to live with a passion for Jesus Christ. Giglio contributes the most to the books narrative of fully unpacking the Passion motto, “Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your truth we eagerly wait for you, for your name and renown are the desire of our souls.”
After reading this book, I have to say that the message of Passion is well worth investing in to every Christian’s life. I would definitely recommend the book to any student, young adult, or any age Christian seeking to find passion in their walk with Christ. My only critique of the book is that when they transposed some of the orally spoken messages into written form it made it a little strange to read, but the overall content is superb. You should go read Passion.
Disclosure: I did receive a free review copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers, but was not required to write a positive review.

Book Review: Open by Craig Gross

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In his book Open, Craig Gross provides a field manual of sorts into the world of accountability. Compelling arguments are given as to what accountability really looks like and to way every individual needs it.  Gross also gives suggestions based on his own experiences as to how to set up accountability groups and formats in which to meet, such as dialogue questions each partner is to be asked.

Personally I found this book to be a great contribution to understanding a healthy atmosphere for men and women to grow deeper in their walk of life. Gross gives great stories and examples of what works and what doesn’t work.  The only two negatives about this book that I see are a lack of scriptural support and the books abrupt ending.  However, I don’t believe there are any theological flaws with the book, nor should the lack of Scripture usage discourage anyone from reading this book.  Accountability is vital for men and women if they truly want to go deeper in their walk with Christ.  This is a principle plainly taught in the Bible and it is very appropriate for fellow Christians to hold one another up.  If you want help living victorious go read Open.

Disclosure: I did receive a free review copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers, but was not required to write a positive review.

Book Review: Who Do You Think You Are? by Mark Driscoll

In the book Who Do You Thing You Are? Mark Driscoll explores the identity of every Christian.  By unfolding Paul’s famous phrase “in Christ” Driscoll explains how each believer has to overcome the temptation to follow after false identities for the true identity found in the Lord.  The reader is then taken through an informative survey of the book of Ephesians to fully unpack who we really are in Christ.

To be perfectly honest I had some major hesitations reading this book.  As a pastor you hear rumors and opinions about some pastor or author, and one is quick to judge off of that information.  Driscoll was no exception for me. However, I have found this book to be one of the BEST books I have ever picked up.  Driscoll is very through and captivating in his writing. He shows a love and respect for the Scriptures and his end notes hold a wealth of information for the Bible student.  I personally found this book to be a great up lift in my spiritual walk and would recommend it to anyone who is “in Christ”!

Disclosure: I did receive a free review copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers, but was not required to write a positive review.

Get More Out Of Your Faith With “The Gospel of Yes”

In Mike Glenn’s book The Gospel Of YesphpThumb_generated_thumbnailjpg a liberating concept is explored on the idea that God is not just a God of restrictions.  Thus, Christianity is not just a religion of no’s, but a wonderful relationship with the God who says “YES.”  Glenn explains that God has been telling mankind yes through great events such as creation, the cross, and the resurrection. However, God hasn’t just shone His Yeses in general, but is offering them in different aspects of the lives of each believer. While the concept of this book is great and definitely true, there are times that it seems to drag on and cause the reader to lose interest.  That being said, the closing chapters are very well written and worth the reader’s time to make it to the end.  The biblical truths presented are given in a very applicable manner, but Glenn’s interpretation of Matthew 5:37 seems to be stretched a little in order to fit his topic of God’s yes.  This doesn’t mean that the book isn’t useful; there is a wonderful amount of good material for any believer to implement into their life.  The Gospel Of Yes proves to be a book worth the read.

 

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Book Review: Empty Promises by Pete Wilson

In the book Empty Promises by Pete Wilson the problem of the deceptive power of idolatry is put into a modern day reality.  Wilson unpacks how Christians today fall for the empty misconception that achievement, approval, power, money, religion, beauty, or even chasing one’s dreams will bring us the happiness that only God can give. The reader is made aware of the fact that a daily walk with Christ is a daily recognition and denial of the idols that want to pull our heart away from Him.

As a pastor myself, I would recommend this book to any believer that wants to become more aware of the true power of idols in everyday life.  Wilson does a great job conveying the biblical truth of God’s desire to be our only object of worship and the emptiness that comes from replacing Him for other things.  The reader will be intrigued by the personal stories and applications the Wilson incorporates throughout the book.  Overall, I think this book will help any Christian learn how to grow deeper with the Lord by making them aware of the subtle attraction of things and the power of Christ to overcome.

Disclosure: I did receive a free review copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers, but was not required to write a positive review.

Revival Could Go “VIRAL” Through Social Networking

When Leonard Sweet‘s new book Viral is released this March, I recommend all pastors and ministry staff set a while at the feet of a messenger who has his finger on the pulse of the today’s culture.  In this book Sweet introduces the reader to the TGIF (Twitter, Google, iPhone, and Facebook) culture that we now live in.  A captivating case is presented on how today’s Christian needs to seek the efforts of social networking to share the gospel message.  You will be challenged to step out of the “Gutenberg” (life before TGIF) ways of thinking and approach people in the culture and context they are now currently in.  Sweet will inspire you to stretch your own opinions and uses of social networking for the glory of Christ.  It is refreshing how Sweet doesn’t compromise biblical truth, while at the same time challenges the reader to make the “Story” of the gospel real to people in the 21st century.  If the church is going to fulfill the Great Commission then we must do it in the ways and times we live in and Viral will show you just how to do that.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.