Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wasted Prayer - book review

Title:  Wasted Prayer
Author:  Greg Darley

       Greg Darley is a social entrepreneur, speaker, and director of College Mobilization for International Justice Mission.  He speaks at churches, conferences, organizations, and universities throughout America.
       Prayer is one of the oldest and most sacred practices of Christianity.  For thousands of year, people have been praying to God, seeking His guidance, and looking for answers.  Prayer is woven into the DNA of Christianity and the Bible.  It is foundational to our relationship with God.  In Wasted Prayer 
 Greg Darley shines a light on the truth that sometimes saying prayers falls shot of what God wants us to do.  There are times when only action can accomplish the miracle that we desire.  This book challenges us to learn that there is a time to pray and a time to act.
     Action to move can take incredible faith.  We must earn that the life of faith is one of adventure and excitement.  It is also one of fear and uncertainty.  The key is to find a way around the fear and seize the adventure God desires  for your life.  Sometimes the key can be to stop praying and start doing.  Prayer should never be an obstacle to accomplishing what God has called you to do.  The author explains t us that pray can be a great way to prepare for action, but we should not just settle for preparation. Following Jesus has always been about action.  If there is no action in your life, you aren't following Jesus.  This may be the day to stop praying about what God wants us to do and start doing it. 

     I found this book to be very challenging and thought provoking. I give it 5 stars.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Solomon Seduction - book review

Mark Atteberry
    Mark Atteberry is the award-winning author of eleven books.  H e has been the preaching minister of Pointciana Chritia Church in Kissimmee, Florida since 1989.
    Seduction is the art of enticing a person to make negative behavioral choices heor she would otherwise avoid.  Pastor Atteberry provides us with 10 "wake-up calls that let us know when we are being seduced. 
Solomon, himself, was the wisest of all men, however he managed to be seduced.  One of these "wake-up" calls is:: You know you're being seduced wen sin seems like good idea.  That is one of Satan's best tricks.  He can make terrible sins look like a good idea.  Solomon, who wrote much of the book of proverbs,fell into this trap.  His own words were:  The purpose of the proverbs is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise. Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them o what is right, just, and fair.  This book helps us to acknowledge that sin is never a ood idea  It seems impossible that the wisest man in the whole human race would ruin his life by making dumb choices, but Solomon did.  Solomon was better equipped to see through Satan's deceptions than any man who has ever lived, other than Jesus.  But in the end, he became just as blind to them as everyone else.  With humor, grace, and a pastor's heart, Mark Atteberry seeks to offer practical suggestions on how to avoid a similar fate.

    I found this book very informative and also enjoyable  It was very easy to understand and a very fast read.  It also held may attention.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Title:  No More Dragons
Author:  Jim Burgen
    Helps us get free from broken dreams, lost hope, bad religion, and other monsters.
    Becoming a dragon is a dangerously subtle process.  It never happens all at once.  You make a long chain of bad choices.  The chain gradually wraps around you.  You aren't who you used to be and you aren't who you want to be.  More importantly, you 're not who you were created and designed to be.  Instead, your're a dragon.
    Jim Burgen was raised believing in Jesus, but by the time he was a college student he was very disappointed and disillusioned by "church."  As Pastor Jim narrates the remarkable process of Jesus reaching into his life and reclaiming him from himself, he implores modern church folks to shake off the trivial, sometimes weirdness, of religious churchiness in favor of the more important questions that make spiritual transformation and "undragoning" even possible to those who are looking for truth and grace.
    No more dragons is about discernment and making better decisions.  It is about asking Christ to deliver you from your own scales.

Jim Burgen has been the lead pastor of Flatirons Community Church in Boulder County, Colorado since 2006.  He also serves on the board of SOZO international, an NGO focusing on holistic community empowerment in Afghanistan.

    I found this book to be very enlightening.  I think it would be very helpful for young people. 5 stars

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

one God one Plan one Life - a book review

Title:  One God One Plan One Life
Author:  Max Lucado

    Max Lucado ministers at the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas.  More that 100 million readers have found comfort in his writings.
    One God One Plan One life addresses important topics like faith, obedience, and self-control as well as difficult-to-discuss-with-your-parents issues like purity, bullying, and alcohol and drug use.  Each day includes a short devotion and scripture as well as a straight-to-the-heart idea that will inspire you to trust the one God who will love you through it all and despite it all
    I have read many devotional books in my life, but I have never read one as good as this one.  Not only is this book good for young people, it is very good for all ages.  There are devotionals for every day and every situation.  These devotions are very easy to follow and understand.  Teens and young people have life coming at them fast and hard, the Bible can be an "answer book" for them.  It is a good idea to read something from it every day,  This devotional is a good way to get started on a reading plan.  Teachers may pile on the reading assignments, but the Bible is the most important book you will ever read.  It's God's plan for your life, telling you what is right, what is wrong, and how to get to heaven.

I give this book 5 stars.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

It's a God Thing - book review

Title:  It's a God Thing
Author:  Don Jacobson
Don Jacobson is the founder of D.C. Jacobson & Associates, an author management company, where he works closely with authors--together dreaming about books that change the world by helping the church realize its true calling.

" It' a God Thing" is a very inspiring collection of instances where things that might have looked hopeless and depressing were used by God for good.  Most of these stories are truly amazing, and if one hasn't seen the "hand of God" in their own life up to this point, they surely will want to reexamine some of their past experiences more closely.
     The most amazing miracle of all wraps up the book reminding us that Jesus died so that we don't have to.  We are reminded that the three greatest words in all the world are "I love you"--which God so eloquently says to us through the gift of His Son.  No matter how bad the situation is or how messed up our lives are, there is always hope.  Jesus always offers hope.  No matter how much hatred we have endured or pain we have inflicted, God always gives us hope.  He loves us unconditionally, regardless of our messed-up lives.

Hopefully these stories will help all who read them and help them to realize that miracles are not reserved for the characters in the Old and New Testaments  they happen to everyday people: we just need to be sensitive to them.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

You'll Get Through This - book review

Title:  You'll Get through This
Author:  Max Lucado
        The message is the message you need:  You'll get through this.  It won't be painless.  It won't be quick.  But God will use this mess for good.  Don't be foolish or na├»ve.  But don't despair either.  With God's help, you'll get through this.  Yes!  Deliverance is to the Bible what jazz music is to Mardi Gras:  bold, brassy, and everywhere.
        Sometimes our "pits" come in the form of a diagnosis or a traumatic injury.  Joseph's came in the form of a cistern.  Joseph was thrown into a hole and despised.  Sometimes we are thrown into an unemployment line and forgotten, into a divorce and betrayed, into a bed and abused.  Our life is reduced to one quest:  to get out of the pit and never get hurt again.  Pits have no easy exit.  Joseph's story got worse before it got better.  Abandonment led to enslavement, entrapment, and imprisonment.  He was sucker-punched, sold out, mistreated.  People made promises only to break them.  If hurt is a swampland, then Joseph was sentenced to a life of hard labor in the everglades.
        Yet, Joseph never gave up.  He never became bitter.  He never let anger metastasize into hatred.  His heart never hardened.  He not only survived; he thrived.
        Joseph's life offers this lesson:  in God's hands, intended evil becomes ultimate good.  Life in the pit stinks, but it forces us to look upward.  Someone from up there must come down here and give you a hand.  God did for Joseph.  In the right time, in the right way, He will do the same for you. 
        Max Lucado acknowledges the depth of sorrow and trouble in modern life and offers realistic hope in a faith in God, even when such hope is hard to find.

        Max Lucado ministers at the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Denalyn, and a sweet misbehaving mutt, Andy.  More than 100 million readers have found comfort in his writings.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Runaway Emotions - A book review

Title:  Runaway Emotions
Author:  Jeff Schreve
        This is a well written book about our emotions and how to deal with them.  We all have them and we all need to know how to deal with them and to realize that they are no unusual.  The author explores emotions from embarrassment to depression.  He helps us to know what causes us to feel inferior, loneliness, frustration, worry, anger, guilt, discontentment, and depression.  Emotions make life interesting.  Life without emotions would not be fascinating in the least.  He explains how emotions make life worth living.  They are the colors of life.  Unfortunately, as fallen human beings living in a fallen world, we aren't given the privilege to pick and choose which emotions we will experience in our lives.  We appreciate all the joy, love, laughter, peace and wonder we can wrap our arms around.  But then we also have to deal with the dark side of the emotional spectrum.  There we find fear, worry, anger, and bitterness.  Guilt, loneliness, and embarrassment also join in to rear their ugly heads.  Sometimes these negative emotions run away with our joy and peace.  The author likens these negative, runaway emotions to smoke detectors.  They tell us, "There's a problem here.  Something's out of adjustment and desperately needs attention.  The author helps understand that even these negative emotions can play a positive role in our lives.  He uses scripture to show us that there is a specific and compelling message in each of our negative, painful emotions.  He lets us know that God doesn't want any of us to get stuck in one or more or these troubling feelings.  The choice is ours to make.
    Jeff Schreve is a passionate communicator of God's word with a great desire to help people connect with Jesus Christ and experience His love and plan for their lives.  Since 2003 he has served as pastor of First Baptist Texarkana, Texas.  In 2005 he foualnded From His Heart Ministries a national and international radio and television ministry.