Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Chase your Dreams!

Chase the Lion: If Your Dream Doesn't Scare You, It's Too Small, by Mark Batterson is the sequel to his best selling book, In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day!  Batterson plays off the passage from 2 Samuel 23:20, which says, “And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada…went down and struck down a lion in a pit on a day when snow had fallen” (ESV). He uses the NLT which uses the term, chased a lion . . .

In some ways, he is retelling some of the story from In a Pit. . . but he adds to it.  This is a book of encouragement.  In some ways, you may be skeptical that this will all work.  If you don't follow your dreams, if your dreams are too small . . . There is that utopian image he portrays.  

Yet, this is a book which focuses on not settling for a less than life.  It's about not accepting mediocrity.  He tells stories about the advent of National Community Church and their coffee house and many of their ministries and the lives of others who have been changed over the years because they caught a vision of hope.  

In the end, this is a very good book, meant to give the reader a vision for something better, to give the reader a sense of purpose and hope, to dream.  

I received this book in exchange for my unbiased and honest opinion from www.bloggingforbooks.com.

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A Great 5 Minutes!

I was looking forward to this little devotional by Sheila Walsh, with Sherri Gragg.  The title is 5 Minutes with Jesus: A Fresh Infusion of Joy.  It's pretty obvious what the premise of the book is seeking to accomplish.  

It seems that we live in a world which is devoid of joy.  We have our few happy moments, but there is little joy in the heart and spirit of too many people.  Walsh and Gragg hope that this book can bring, or maybe usher in an extra jolt of joy to your day.

Each chapter is only about 1 1/2 to 2 pages, followed by a section called 5 Minutes in the Word, a listing of scripture verses to read.  

Walsh and Gragg get right to the point with each devotion and seek to remind the reader of the presence of God in their lives, through stories which are touching as well as humorous.  This book / devotion would make a great gift for someone.  She is an encouraging writer who has a great sense of God's presence within her, as she shares with the reader.

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

Friday, September 02, 2016

Engaging Book to Read!

A Month of Sundays: Striding Towards Spiritual Refreshment One Sunday at a Time by Paula Hartman is a wonderful book which was written to help the reader learn, practice and make spiritual refreshment a reality.  Hartman is a wonderful writer who shares her journey with the reader in a variety of ways, which helps the book remain fresh and engaging.

She recounts stories from her life, as a child, a wife, parent, as she moves in her spiritual journey.  She has a sense of humor which leads the reader to chuckle and identify with her through the stories she shares.  As each chapter concludes she includes a recipe which are very doable.  They are not filled with special ingredients, but everyday ingredients you find in your home. 

It’s a fun, easy to read book which engages the reader and benefits the reader.

I would recommend this book.

I received this book from booklookbloggers.com in exchange for an open and honest review.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Go is a Good Read

Go: Returning Discipleship to the Front Lines of Faith, by Preston Sprinkle is a powerful book seeking to help followers of Christ to engage in discipleship.  Sprinkle refers to a study by the Barna Group focusing on Discipleship which indicated too many Christians are biblically illiterate and not engaged in growing and serving Christ.  He quotes a number of statistics, such as, 52% of church attenders believe the leaders are doing a good job to help them grow, while leaders have a much lower belief in their effectiveness. 

Sprinkle spends a great deal of time discussing issues which are wrong, leading to ineffective methods of discipleship.  He also gives some ideas about how to overcome some of the barriers. 

Go is an easy to read 177 pages.  The book flows well, and would be a good book to read.

I received a review copy from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for an open and honest review.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Great than Gold is Excellent!

As someone who enjoys the Olympics, I thought this would be a good book, and I was not disappointed. The story of David Boudia, in Great Than Gold: From Olympic Heartbreak to Ultimate Redemption is an excellent book, recounting David's story and his journey to faith.

I kept watch on how David did in the Rio Olympics, and he achieved a bronze in individual platform diving and a silver in sychronized diving with his partner Steele Johnson.  Both are Christians who seek to win people to Christ more than win medals at the Olympics.  They seemed very sincere.  After winning the silver medal both spoke about their faith.

The book is broken into 13 chapters and just over 200 pages in length.  It's an easy to read book, as he spoke about his progression in sports to have a love for diving at age 7, leading to his gold medal in the 2012 Olympics.  He was driven to achieve the ultimate glory.  That was his focus, win, win, win.  He had a crisis after not winning a medal in 2008, he thought about suicide and ultimately found Christ and redemption.

He writes in a very honest matter about his struggles and setbacks after becoming a Christian.  He has struggled to stay focused on his faith as the most important part of his life.  His admissions and honesty and vulnerability were very refreshing and helped the book to move at a good pace.

I would highly recommend this book.

I received this book from booklookbloggers in exchange for an open and honest review.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Good Resource for the Holidays

Moments & Days: How Our Holy Celebrations Shape Our Faith, by Michelle Van Loon was an easy to read and informative book.  Van Loon sought to help the reader understand the holidays which occur during the calendar year.  What I really appreciated was the fact that she looked at many of the Jewish holidays which Jesus would have celebrated, as well as Christian holidays. 

She was able to bring a basic understanding of the traditions, Scripture, and cultural values of the day and how it impacted the holidays, then, and how it impacts us today.

The book is broken into two sections, again, covering Jewish and Christian holidays.  She used a great deal of Scripture to help bring out the reasons for the holidays and how we can make them applicable in our lives today.

If you are interested in an easy to read book regarding holidays and festivals, this would be a nice resource.  I would recommend Moments & Days.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Tyndale House Publishers book review bloggers program.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Uplifting Book

Jesus Talked to Me Today: True Stories of Children's Encounters with Angels, Miracles and God is a compilation of stories written by James Stuart Bell.  The book contains over 40 stories about children who have had some type of an encounter or miracle with God.  These are children who believe they have experienced God's presence in their lives.

Each of the chapters are short, maybe 4-5 pages.  It is easy reading and a relaxing book.  Some stories may be heard to believe, but these are recollections of children who believe they have met God.

It was a fun book to read, despite some of the stories talking about pain and despair, the end result was one of hope and victory.  Overall, it's a nice book to read, if you are looking for something with short, easy to read chapters.

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Powerful Book of Hope

I had never heard of Chad Veach prior to reading this book, Unreasonable Hope: Finding Faith in the God Who Brings Purpose to Your Pain, but I will be sure to follow him in the future.  This was an amazingly honest and raw book as he discussed how his daughter’s diagnosis of an incurable brain disease has reshaped his life.  His daughter, Gigi, cannot communicate, has a feeding tube, daily seizures, and a life span of about 10-12 years.

I love the title, Unreasonable Hope.  Because hope in the midst of a terrible doctor’s report is unthinkable.  It didn’t happen all at once, it was a process for Chad and his wife.  As they were supported by friends and family, slowly they found a new brand of hope.

It’s not the everyday hope we think of.  It’s not a simple hope either.  Their hope is not about how God has blessed them in the midst of trials and tribulations, yet it is about that.  However, it’s still different, Veach writes about the unknown, the mystery and mysterious God.  Their hope comes in the retelling of stories about God’s presence and their victories in past difficulties.  It’s reminiscent of an Old Testament faith.  Retelling the traditions and miracles of God.

The book is broken into 4 sections ~
The Struggle
The Remedy
The Rest
The Better

This book can make a huge difference in the lives of those who are struggling with issues of hope in the midst of life’s problems.

I would highly recommend this book.

I received this book from booklookbloggers.com in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, July 22, 2016

In Union in Christ

In his book, Closer Than Close: Awakening to the Freedom of Your Union with Christ, Dave Hickman has written a very personal book.  I have preached on the premise of Hickman's book and wished I had it when I did my series. 

His premise is that we are not just to be in relationship with God, we are to go beyond that and be in union with God.  Hickman explained ~
To be "in" someone and have that someone "in" us isn't just close, it's closer than close --- it's to be in "union" or "Oneness" with that person.
 That's what Hickman is writing about.  It's about how we, the Christ-follower can move beyond the term and feeling of being in relationship with Christ, to being IN union with Christ.  To have Christ in me and me in Christ.

As I read he used terms I greatly appreciated.  I liked his use of the word perichoresis, which I've used many times before.  His chapter on the church was excellent, as well.

Overall, this is a challenging book.  But it was well worth the challenge.  I would recommend this book for those who want to go deeper in their "union" with Christ!

I received this book from Tyndale Press in exchange for an open and honest review.

A Devotion with Meat

I have appreciated the writings of Lee Strobel and Mark Mittelberg, so I was looking forward to receiving this devotional book entitled, Today's Moment of Truth: Devotions to Deepen Your Faith in Christ.  I really liked the cover, it would look great on a coffee table, as it has a soft somewhat cushiony cover, with a nice picture on it.

Knowing Lee Strobel is into apologetics, I was looking forward to this because I wanted a devotional which had a little bit more meat on it.  He didn’t disappoint me.  There is a mix of theology and story which helps the theology come alive.  There were 360 devotionals, none are dated, so you can pick it up at any point and start reading. 

Each devotion is 2 pages in length and starts with a scripture and ends with a section called Truth for Today.  I would recommend this book for anyone wanting a devotion which has a little more theology in it, yet, easily understood.

I received a complimentary copy of this book though booklookbloggers.com in exchange for my honest review.