Friday, April 11, 2014

A Touching Memoir

Addie Zierman has written a type of memoir about her life growing up in the legalism of the Evangelical Church.  Her book is entitled, When We Were on Fire: A Memoir of Consuming Faith, Tangled Love and Starting Over.

Her book is broken into four sections,

It's the story about Addie's early love and the control he had over her and the wounds she encountered as she did everything she thought she was supposed to do as a young Christian.  She thought she was supposed to do and act in a certain way and if she didn't, for example, her first love made her do 10 push ups every time she was sarcastic, because Jesus was not sarcastic.

If I had to do push ups when I was sarcastic, nobody would be stronger than me.  Her story leads her to push the organized church away, to use alcohol and a coffee house to find what she thinks is community.  Ultimately, this is a story about a young woman with intuition.  She knows something is wrong, but doesn't believe she can act on what she believes is wrong.  There is power in her story, and we see glimmers of grace and hope as she appears to be moving forward in her faith, spirit, and heart. 

In some ways, it's also the story of what many Christians think they should be doing, following rules as opposed to living a life in which we stand out for Christ and make a real and tangible difference in the world.  Overall, this is a good book, an easy read, which many people, especially women, who grew up in the 1990's very well may relate to.

"I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review."

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Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Being Intentional!!

Robert Crosby quotes J. Oswald Sanders, “We are as close to God as we choose to be.”  That’s a telling and true statement that sets the tone for this book.  In The ONE Jesus Loves: Grace is Unconditionally Given, Intimacy Must be Relentlessly Pursued, he offers a theme which is present in the New Testament regarding the people around Jesus.

The book is broken into 3 Sections, with 2 Chapters in each Section ~
Part 1 ~ Approaching Christ, the Man
1.  The Crowds: Observing the Words and Works of Christ
2.  The Five Thousand: Enjoying the Gifts of Grace of Christ

Part 2 ~ Enountering Christ, the Lord
3.  The Seventy: Serving the Purposes of Christ
4.  The Twelve: Following the Call of Christ

Part 3 ~ Knowing Christ, the Friend
5.  The Three: Knowing the Depths of Christ
6.  The One: Experiencing the Death and Life of Christ

Crosby’s aim is to lead us on a journey as we intentionally choose to have a more intimate relationship with Christ.  He describes this with 6 circles or rings, as we move more and more into a deeper understanding and experience of Christ. 

As you move further in your relationship with Christ, your level of intimacy with Him also increases.  While all the sections within each chapter are 3-5 pages, this is not necessarily a quick read.  Instead, it’s a book which should cause us to take pause and consider the message of Christ. 

It’s not a deep theological book, yet is scriptural and not difficult to understand.  It can be read more like a devotion, since there are 40 short chapters to read.

I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Discovering Who You Are!

I was not sure what to expect from this book.  I was surprised as I enjoyed and was moved as I read PROTOTYPE by Jonathon Martin.  The book is filled with theological truth, yet written in a conversational manner which made the book feel more personal, like it was written for me, and a conversation, albeit, a one way conversation was underway.

The book is broken into 9 chapters ~ 
  • identity
  • beloved
  • obscurity
  • calling
  • wounds
  • resurrection
  • sacraments
  • community
  • witness
The basic point of the book is one we seem to miss way too often.  God's loves us.  We are His children.  We are His beloved.  There are discussion questions in the back of the book to help the reader or group move through the book.

There is also a DVD series which would help facilitate a small group who meets and reads the book.  
Overall, this was a very good book, which caused me and should cause others to examine who they are in Christ.  

His question early in the book is a haunting question for most people, "Who are you?"  Not, where are you from, or what do you do, etc. but, "Who are you?"  For many that's the big question. 

I received this book from Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

Monday, March 31, 2014

A Real Solution in the Middle East!

I should be better versed on this topic, but it is so complicated with so many points of view, that it becomes confusing, so I think we stay away from really examining what Caroline Glick is proposing. 

In her book, The Israeli Solution: A One State Plan for Peace in the Middle East, she has examined the difficulties surrounding Israel literally being one single state.  She has introduced the plan, looked at the positives and negatives; and the negatives include the fallout of the Palestinians, Europeans and those who would dissent from this type of epic decision.

Glick is willing to make statements which most people are not willing to make.  What she is proposing is not the popular idea, but she believes the concept is the right one.  She put aside any fear she might have of retribution and negative feedback regarding this book.  I found that very refreshing.

Her belief is to create a one state plan for Israel which would incorporate the Palestinian Arabs.  This would give them a home and rights which they really do not have at the present time.  The goal is to have peace in the Middle East, which is not present.

If you are interested in learning more about this topic, then I would encourage you to read this book.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group through the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest appraisal.

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Sunday, March 09, 2014

The Greatest Words is a Great Resource

The Greatest WORDS Ever Spoken is a wonderful resource book.  It can be used by any person who wants to see what Jesus said about a particular topic.   Of course, one must understand that the topics are arranged by the editor, Steven Scott.  You can check out his website here.

You get to read what Jesus has to say about everyday life situations.  Having a book like this makes it easier to understand the fact that Jesus wanted us to live the abundant life.  In some ways this can be a "how to manual." 
For those who do Christian counseling and want to incorporate God's Word into their counseling this would be a great resource. 

Again, this is really more of a reference book.  But for some, they may just read from start to finish.  That would actually be a new way to read through the Words of Jesus. 
This could be a great book to give to someone for a gift.  When you just can't remember where you read something Jesus said, but you remember the topic, this book will come in so handy.  It would also be great for Sunday School teachers.  
I received a free copy of The Greatest Words Ever Spoken from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for an honest review.
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Wednesday, March 05, 2014

PRIDE a Poem by Beth Moore

My name is Pride. I am a cheater.
I cheat you of your God-given destiny...
because you demand your own way. 
I cheat you of contentment...
because you “deserve better than this.”
I cheat you of knowledge...
because you already know it all.
I cheat you of healing...
because you are too full of you to forgive.
I cheat you of holiness...
because you refuse to admit when you are wrong.
I cheat you of vision...
because you’d rather look in the mirror than out a window.
I cheat you of genuine friendship...
because nobody’s going to know the real you.
I cheat you of love...
because real romance demands sacrifice.
I cheat you of greatness in heaven...
because you refuse to wash another’s feet on earth.
I cheat you of God’s glory...
because I convinced you to seek your own.
My name is Pride. I am a cheater. 
You like me because you think I’m always looking out for you.
I’m looking to make a fool of you.
God has so much for you, I admit, but don’t worry...
If you stick with me you’ll never know.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Enjoying the power of Giving!

Most people have a very difficult time giving away their money and possessions.  We want to receive money and possessions, but freely giving away our "stuff" is so difficult.  Brad Formsma has written a book in which he focuses on the act of giving.  He has entitled the book, "I Like Giving: The Transforming Power of a Generous Life."

As Formsma writes,
There is something incredible about giving when it's our idea.  Opening our eyes and ears to the people around us and asking "How can we give?" is a profoundly life-giving and satisfying way to life.  One of Jesus's ideas was that it is more blessed to give than to receive.  I have found that to be true.  The generous life is the only life worth living.

Formsma has many illustrations which help the reader learn more about the nature of giving and what happens to us when we freely give.  There are times when reading the book that I felt he was being redundant.  At times I was not certain what his point ultimately was.  Yet, in the end, I believe Formsma makes his point about the joy and transforming power we can receive when we joyfully and freely give to others.  

Chapters include ~ 
  1. The Power of One Gift
  2. Beginnings
  3. Try
  4. What Happens When We Give
  5. The Science of Giving
  6. Giving Filters
  7. Tactics
  8. Family
  9. Community
  10. Receiving
  11. Becoming a Gift
  12. A Generous World
You can watch a short video by Brad Formsma, which describes the reasons for the book, HERE.

 Overall, this is a book which can energize people to begin the process of giving.

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