Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Well Worth the Read!!

I have been a Tim Tebow fan, but would like to think I can have an unbiased opinion of someone I admire.  So, I was thrilled I was selected to be part of the launch team for his new book.  I was looking forward to the release of Shaken: Discovering Your True Identity in the Midst of Life's Storms.  Let me tell you I was not disappointed.

This is an easy to read book of just over 200 pages.  Tebow starts out in the New England training camp and talks about being cut from the team.  Basically, he was the last cut, thinking he had possibly made the team.  You don't sense resentment or bitterness, just joy at being given the opportunity.

He moves on from there to talk about his journey in life.  His ups and downs.  This is part autobiography and part how to live life as you fully rely on God.  He wants to make an impact on this world, and shares in the final chapters how we can all make a difference.

Tebow does not come across as a woe is me, martyr.  Instead he is one who has walked through life with great humility, even though he has been afforded many luxuries.  His hope is that the reader would become proactive in their relationship with Christ and then go into the world and make a difference! 

Here is a link

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

Monday, October 24, 2016

Answering the Tough Questions

Often times we have questions about God and / or about the Bible which go unanswered.  Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz seek to answer some of those questions in their book, Answering the Toughest Questions about God and the Bible.  The book was written, in part due to an ex-evangelical leaving the faith because of unanswered questions.

As a result, they surveyed many young Christians and asked what their questions were, and some of those questions were used as the basis for this book.  Each chapter could have been a book in itself, which in some respects is part of my frustration with this book.  I would have liked more of an answer to many of the questions.  I wanted more from the authors.

Yet, this was a good book, it was easy to read, touched on many points and had multiple sections within each chapter about points to reflect on. 

Chapters titles include ~
  1. Is God real? How can you know?
  2. Why did God create us?
  3. Why Doesn't God make Himself more Obvious?
  4. Can I trust what the Bible says about God?
  5. Why is the Bible so hard to understand?
  6. Why does God seem so violent While Jesus is so loving?
  7. Is Jesus God?
  8. Why do Christians say Jesus is the only way to God?
  9. How do God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit relate to one another?
  10. Does God really care about me and my life?
Overall, this is a good resource and a good book to hold onto for questions about God and the Bible.

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

Jesus' Bad Habits

I always look forward to books by Leonard Sweet.  He helps me to get out of my comfort zone.  In his newest book, The Bad Habits of Jesus: Showing us the way to live right in a world gone wrong, Sweet seeks to show the reader the ways Jesus went against the norm, to show us a better way to live.

For example, some chapter titles are ~
- Jesus Spit
- Jesus Appeared Wasteful
- Jesus was Constantly Disappearing
- Jesus Loved to Party
- Jesus Broke the Rules
- Jesus Hung Out with Bad People

Part of the power of Sweet's writing is that he finds the normal ordinary everyday things we take for granted and looks for that which is extraordinary, something which leads us to discover Christ in a more personal way.

At times I felt like Sweet was stretching something to make it work, but overall, he helped me to look at some different situations in the life of Christ a little differently.  He led me to think a little more about the little things in the Bible, which make the Bible more alive.  Jesus went against the everyday social norms, and Sweet captured many of those events in the life of Jesus.

In the back of the book, there are discussion questions, generally 2 or 3 for each chapter of the book.  Overall, this is an easy to read book, which may help the reader grow a little deeper in their relationship with Christ as they discover a freshness in Christ.

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

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wonderful Christmas Devotional

This new devotional by Zondervan, Devotions for Christmas: A Celebration to Bring You Joy and Peace would be a great addition or gift.

The devotion is a no nonsense devotion, as it starts out right on December 1 and ends on December 31.  Each devotion should only take a few minutes to read.  They are insightful and thought provoking. 

In addition, the pictures on each page are great.  They are clear and crisp and add to the devotional.  There is a scripture verse for each devotional.  At times, there is additional scripture at the end of the day's reading.

Overall, this would make a great Christmas present, but be sure to give it to someone at Thanksgiving, so they can start reading on December 1!

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

A Fun, Creative Journal

I found this new book, really, it's a journal to be fun.  Extraordinary:Ordinary Moments, by Jorey Hurley is a journal like no other I have come across.  It is extremely open-ended, yet it offers suggestions, but loosely.

Each page has an idea, a thought, a comment for the reader to consider.  Then it's up to the reader / writer to begin journalling.  The prompts are simply one sentence thoughts.  For example ~
Something Unique
A Place to Hide
Something that brings you into the Moment
Something Underappreciated
Something Full of Possibilities
Something Difficult
Something Peaceful
Something that feels nice on your skin

The list goes on and on.  There are no page numbers, but Amazon tells us there are 368 pages.  The cover is fun, with an orange peel.  The only thing I didn't like was not having a table of contents.  I know that may sound strange, but I would have liked to have been able to find a page which matches what I would like to journal about. 

That notwithstanding, for the person who enjoys to journal, and is creative about it, this would be a great present.

“I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.”

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Nice Devotional for 8-12 Year Olds!

I do not often get to review Children's Devotionals, so I thought it would be great to review this one, Jesus: A 365 Day Devotional.  This hardcover devotional is built around a quick walk through the Bible in 365 days, starting with Genesis and ending in Revelation. 

The devotional works its way through the Bible, as each devotion has a one or two verse scripture passage, followed by the devotional section and a one line prayer.  Each devotion is one page, so it does not take long to move through the devotional. 

This devotional is designed for children ages 8-12.  The only negative I had was that this devotional was not interactive and engaging for the child.  I would have liked to see more questions asked of the child to help them think through how they may have reacted if they had certain situations before them and decisions which needed to be made.

This is a good basic devotional, which if the parent / guardian works through this with the child, they can ask some questions to make this more engaging.

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.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Brady and Manning! Excellent!

I was really looking forward to reading this book, Brady vs. Manning: The Untold Story of the Rivalry that Transformed the NFL.  I was not disappointed!  This was a fun to read and enlightening book.  Gary Myers told the story about the college days, leading to the NFL, their rivalry, as well as their off the field friendship.

There were interesting stories, interviews, game observations and behind the scene stories about the two. 

I really enjoyed reading about how even though there was a fierce battle between the two, there was a great deal of respect and friendship that developed.  Myers wrote how each player contacted on a regular basis the other one when they were injured and missed a season.  How their families have been together. 

These are two of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, who took very different paths to get to where they attained greatness.  If you are an NFL fan, especially a fan of both quarterbacks, this is a must read.

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

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Practical Help to Discipleship!

I greatly appreciated Alan Briggs book, Guardrails: Six Principles for a Multiplying Church.  Briggs reminds the reader how hard it really is to not only keep a church alive, but to help the church to thrive and grow to be the church God calls us to be.

Briggs divided this book into two sections: Foundations and Principles.  In Foundations, he does what the word describes.  He lays the groundwork for the church.  He talks about the problems and different situations which arise as a result of an organization led by people seeking, but not always knowing how to fulfill the Great Commission.

In part two, he discusses the principles needed to have a church multiply.  He lays out his points with the acronym SHARRP - - As each chapter focuses on one ~

This section is practical and not just theoretical.  He tells stories from his journey, as well as sharing scripture to help bring home his points.  Each chapter ends with a few simple, yet profound discussion questions.  Questions like “When have you accidentally emptied the Cross of its power through complexity?”  That’s deep, but hit home with me. 

I also appreciated his section Apprentice Culture Assessment, which helps us look at how we do church in terms of discipleship.

Overall, this is a very good book, a helpful book for those wanting to find ways to multiply and help your church grow through discipleship.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher Tyndale Press, 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...