Saturday, March 19, 2016

Hope in Moving!

In the book, After the Boxes Are Unpacked: Moving On after Moving In, written by Susan Miller, she shares her adventures in moving and coping from a Christian Perspective.  This is an easy to read book which is filled with stories and is meant to encourage the person who has moved or is moving.

This would be an excellent book to give to those who are moving, or have moved a number of times and are tired from it and seems lost or hopeless.  It becomes easy to feel lost and depressed after a move, even those moves which are anticipated.  The book is separated into three different sections ~

Let Go
Start Over
Move Forward

The purpose of this book is to give hope to those who are on that journey.  The hope is that after grieving what you miss and lose, you will have a new beginning and recognize that.  Taking intentional steps, which ultimately leads you to moving forward with your life. 

Overall, this is a very good book and helpful for those who are moving.  A reminder is that this book is written from a very Christ centered point of view.

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

Excellent Discussion of a HOT topic!

I have always believed as a pastor, I need to review and study theological positions I do not always agree with.  That will help me to better formulate and state what I do believe.  This is the reason I wanted to read this book, Four Views on Hell.  This is not necessarily a fun topic to discuss, write about or preach about.  But it is a biblical topic that must be studied so we can have intelligent conversations about our varying beliefs.

With that in mind, I was excited (if there is such a thing) to read this book about hell.  People have been debating this topic for centuries.  What happens to those who do not believe in God?  What about those good people who don’t believe in Jesus?  What about those nasty people?  Are all saved?  Are only some elected for eternity with God / without God?  Lots of questions we can ask about this topic.  This book does not purport to be an answer book, but it serves to give the reader 4 basic views on hell.

Each author had an opportunity to make his point, then the other 3 authors would give their criticism.  The writing and criticism were all accomplished in a good spirit.  At times there was some harshness, but overall the tone was collegial. 

The four views were ~

Eternal Concious Torment - by Denny Burk – Burk discusses the more traditional Evangelical Christian view of hell.  Those who are reject Christ will suffer eternally in hell.

Terminal Punishment / Annihilationism – by John Stackhouse – Stackhouse initially held to a traditional view of hell, but now turns towards God’s goodness as people will be punished in hell, but that punishment will ultimately be death and destruction.  Their lives will be terminated after judgement day.

A Universalist View – by Robin Parry – Parry discusses a Christian Universalist view of heaven.  He believes the road to heaven leads through Christ, yet all creation through the atoning work of Christ will ultimately be reconciled to Christ.

Hell and Purgatory – by Jerry Walls – Walls discusses the belief that we need to be purged from our sinful state in order to come before Christ.  He differentiates the terms satisfaction from sanctification.  He believes we need the process of sanctification, after death in order to be worthy to come before Christ. 

The editor offers a good conclusion, highlighting some of the arguments made be the various authors.  This is a very good book, and I would recommend it for those wanting to study more on this topic.

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

This is Your Brain on Sports!

When I saw this title, This Is Your Brain on Sports: The Science of Underdogs, the Value of Rivalry, and What We Can Learn from the T-Shirt Cannon, by L. Jon Wertheim and Sam Sommers, I knew I had to read this book.  I was not disappointed.  The entire book is fun to read.  It’s interesting to see some of the “science” behind sports.  The authors wrote, “As outlandish as sports conduct may seem, it is rooted in basic human psychology, neuroscience and cognitive tendency.” 

There are chapter titles that will pull you in.  Titles like “WhyGiving Every Little Kid a Trophy is Such a Lousy Idea” to “Why Rooting for the Mets Is Like Building That IKEA Desk.”  They go on with “Why Our Moral Compass Is More Flexible Than an Olympic Gymnasts,” and “Tribal Warfare: Why the Agony of the Other Team’s Defeat Feels Just as Good as the Thrill of our Team’s Victory” are very enticing.

They explain why a tennis player like Andy Roddick would fire a tennis hall of famer like Jimmy Conners and replace him with a tennis coach who had a losing record.

There are many anecdotal stories, talking about most sports to the psychology of rooting for the underdog, to violence, to the Mets, to trophies for kids.

Whether or not you are into sports, this is a book you will like.  Some explanations could have become tedious, but I thought they were well explained and made sense to me.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

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Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Leading from heart, soul, mind and body!

 I greatly appreciated Jenni Catron's book, The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership.  For quite awhile I have believed that we work through the 4 different components of who we are; that is; our heart, spirit, mind and body.

With that in mind, Catron seeks to explain how to be an extraordinary leader.  You lead effectively and in an extraordinary way, when you lead with your whole being, i.e., heart, spirit, mind and body.  Catron seeks to help guide the reader to experience that reality as they lead within any organization.  I found her stories and applications easy to follow and very applicable to my daily life.

The book is split into 3 sections, Moving from Ordinary to Extraordinary; The Dimensions of Extraordinary; and The Practice of Extraordinary Leadership.  Catron weaves stories in and out of each chapter to help the reader see catch her points.  The book is very easy to read, but is filled with a deep message.  Her theme of leadership comes from the New Testament Gospel of Mark 12:30, where we are commanded to love the Lord our God with all our heart, and all our soul and all our mind and all our strength.  She is not preachy, but does use some biblical themes in this book.

Overall, I would recommend this book as a good introductory book for someone wishing to learn more about leadership.

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

Fun Kids Devotional

God Gave Us the Bible: 45 Favorite Stories for Little Ones is a very well done, hardcover introductory Bible for parents to read with thei...