Tuesday, October 29, 2013

From Little Boy to H.E.R.O.

"Raising Boys By Design" by Gregory L. Jantz, and Michael Gurian is a book I wish I had read when my boys were younger.  This is an excellent resource which helped me better understand my role as a father to two teenage boys.  The authors don’t tell you what to do on every aspect of raising boys, since every person is different, but there are great learning tools, in which I could see myself and what I’ve done correctly and what I’ve messed up on. 

Reading this book will help me to be a better father, to encourage and strengthen my boys to become mature and Godly, Christ centered men of God.  The book is broken into two sections.  The goal of the first section is to help the reader understand God’s plan for boys.  They do this by helping us understand boys develop differently than girls.  In addition, they explain what boys learn from moms and what they learn from dads.  They generalize, but are pretty much on target with what they write.

The second section is an attempt to put it all together.  The goal is to have our boys be H.E.R.O.s for God.  They use the acronym HERO, which means ~

Honor: adhering to truth, values and principles beyond self
Enterprise: working at important things whether they seem small or large
Responsibility: carrying important things and people throughout life
Originality: being a dreamer, a thinker, an explorer in the world

The goal, then is to enhance and develop these areas in your boys.  While all of our children, boys and girls have similar struggles, they often go about dealing with them and resolving them in different ways.  Again, the authors seek to explain how to help our boys develop by writing about areas such as — character and self-discipline, protecting their heart, sexuality, school, technology, and move forward into the world.

Overall, this an excellent resource to have.  I hope to reread this book and share it with my boys so they know I am invested in their future, and am trying to be a better father to the boys God has blessed me with.

I received a review copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

The Global War on Christians

I'm not really certain why I requested this book to review.  Reading previews was rather disconcerting, and maybe that's why I wanted to read this book.  In our part of the world, as scary as some things may be, we really have no threat of physical persecution.

In this book, The Global WAR on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecutions, John Allen Jr. brings this unknown world to reality in ways I had not heard.  Is this propaganda?  I don't believe so.  Yet, we move along remaining ignorant (not always our choice) because this is so under reported by the media.

Yet, interestingly, Newsweek Magazine found it important to release an issue in February 2012, which featured a cover story by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.  Ali has a storied past, and is from Somalia and considers herself an atheist.  Yet the cover of Newsweek in this issue is below. 
It's a poignant reminder of the war which is being waged against Christians outside of the United States. What bothered me is the fact that this is well known, but so little is seemingly being done to help the innocent victims, many who are being tortured and left to live in disgusting conditions.

I can list many, many atrocities being committed against Christians, some because they are preaching Christ, some because they are simply Christian and they are not following the state mandated governments.  Each chapter is separated by region of the country, as Allen gives numerous examples of crimes being committed about Christ followers.

As you read this book, you will also learn that in many of the countries where these crimes are being committed, the authorities of the country's in which these are occurring have turned a blind eye to the crimes.

John Allen offers thoughts about "what can be done."  Yet, it seems so miniscule.  He does recognize that, but adds, 'we have to start with small steps' which ultimately grow into something big.  He recommends starting with prayer, donations in a micro fashion, getting involved and learning more so we can speak about the atrocities, speak out about what is happening, think globally about the church.

Overall, this was not a fun book to read, but I am so glad I read the book, so I can gain a better awareness of how followers of Jesus Christ are being treated.  We spend way too much time in our country bickering about right and left; when people are being killed, as Allen states at the rate of 10 Christians per hour every hour of the day, every day!

I received this book for free from Random Books, in exchange for an impartial and honest review.

The Courage to Grow!

I appreciate devotionals which are real and relevant.  This devotional perfectly meets that requirement.  Annie Downs has written a powerf...