Archive by Author

I learned so much

30 May

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is a student of American history, but I would also recommend it to anyone else for that matter.  There was so much that I didn’t know about this saga in our American past.  I had heard of Geronimo and of the struggle for control of the American Southwest, but I had no idea of the many stories that played into that whole era of United States history.  Paul Hutton does a masterful job of painting the scenes in this book.  It is engaging and a complete page-turner.  I simply couldn’t put it down once I began.  Do yourself a favor and go pick up this book.

Talking With God is good!

25 Apr

Prayer is one of those things in the Christian life that we all say we know we need, but, if we are honest, we all struggle with.  That is why we need books like Talking With God.  I was very pleased with this book.  It is a subject that I am always seeking to improve in my life, and this book had some valuable insights into steps to take to improve it.  I really appreciate how incredibly practical the book is.  The book is very conversational in its approach, and therefore, it is very accessible as well for anyone seeking to grow their prayer life.  I love what he wrote on page 35 where he says, “I don’t need to be uptight and serious when I pray.  Yes, it’s good to have a healthy reverence of and respect for God. But you don’t have to be emotionless or somber. There’s no need to practice our prayers before speaking them. God is abundantly loving and gracious. It isn’t a sin to smile or laugh when we’re speaking with God.”  So true and so freeing.  I would strongly recommend this book to all believers young and old.

Walking On Water

2 Jan

I received a copy of “Walking On Water” by Madeleine L’Engle having never read anything by her, but knowing of the impact that her “A Wrinkle In Time” had had.  I was pleasantly surprised by this book.  I love L’Engle’s approach to the idea of creativity and art in conjunction with Christianity.  The wholistic view that she takes in refreshing.  As a worship pastor, I am always looking for different and better ways to be creative and ways to inject creativity into our worship services, and I have been both challenged and convicted by L’Engle’s words found here.  I love what she says on page 123, “When we take ourselves too seriously, as the chief or only object of God’s interest, then we fail to understand the magnitude of his love and concern for us.”  These words are so true! We so often, as Christians, try to be as somber and stoic as possible, and we fail to explore the depths of the creativity that God has woven into creation.

I would strongly recommend this book to anyone!

“Hello, Bicycle” is super informative and very practical

20 Sep

As someone who is an avid bicyclist I was intrigued by this book “Hello, Bicycle”.  I am always looking to improve my cycling and find tips and tricks to make me faster and ride longer.  On the surface, this book is very elementary.  However, when you dig into it there is tons of really great information.  This book is truly for anyone from those who are just beginning an interest in bicycling to someone who has been riding for decades.  I was especially excited about the several recipes for pre and post ride food.  I cannot wait to try some of them.  I would recommend this book whole-heartedly to anyone who is looking to learn more about bicycling.

Messy Grace is enough for messy situations

31 Aug

I requested this book originally because I was intrigued by a book that had a forward by Kyle Idleman, but I have been pleasantly surprised by what else I found once I began reading.  Learning Caleb’s story was interesting to say the least, but to see how God has used his experiences to mold him into the person he is now was fascinating.  I, for one, have been captivated over the past few years by the idea that as Christians we must be willing to be involved in messy conversations in order to reach people with the gospel.  I think that Caleb does an incredible job of reinforcing this idea in my mind.  While I do not completely agree with everything that he says in the book, I do completely appreciate his work to stay as true to Scripture as possible.  This is a great book for church leaders to read in order to begin to understand how to start conversations with members of their communities who struggle with same-sex attraction.  This is a great book for church members to read for the exact same reason.  We must get past the paralyzing fear of awkwardness and begin to engage those around us with the gospel.

God Gave Us Sleep

9 Nov

My wife and I are always looking for ways that we can interject the gospel into everyday conversation with our four kids.  We had purchased one Lisa Bergen’s other books in this series, God Gave Us You, several years ago when we were in the process of adopting our son.  It was a fabulous book!  Therefore, when I got the chance to review this book I was intrigued.  God Gave Us Sleep is a great bedtime story to share with your children as they are preparing for bed.  However, it is also a great reminder of the fact that God is at work in every aspect of our daily lives.  I think that as Christians we often lose sight of that fact, and it is a good thing to be reminded of how much God loves and provides for us every now and again.

I would strongly recommend this book to anyone with children and to anyone who loves children.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

So I’ll Stand in awe of You…

13 Oct

So here we are smack in the middle of this blog series dealing with the Word of God.  And today I would like for us to talk about the fact that we don’t revere or respect the Word of God the way we should.  Many times in our current culture the Bible is simply viewed as another book in the bookstore.  It might be put into the “religious book” category, but it has no distinction from other pieces like The Koran, the sacred writings of Hinduism, or the sacred writings of Buddhism.  However, we have to come to the position as Christians where we understand and believe that the Bible is utterly and totally unique among all other pieces of literature.  We need to regain a reverent view of Scripture that was held by people in the Bible.

The story that comes to mind for me is found in Nehemiah chapter 8.  The setting is in Jerusalem after the Jews had been exiled to Babylon for 70+ years and they have now returned.  The temple has been rebuilt, and the walls of Jerusalem have been rebuilt.  Ezra is a priest and he brings the Book of the Law of Moses (the first five books of the Old Testament) and is going to read it in the public square in front of the Water Gate.  It is obvious that the people understand how holy and special the Scriptures are by their response.  Here is what is says in Nehemiah 8:2-5:

So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could understand what they heard, on the first day of the seventh month. And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law. And Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden platform that they had made for the purpose. And beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his right hand, and Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam on his left hand. And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people, and as he opened it all the people stood.

All Ezra did was open the book as he stood on the platform, and the people knew that this was a holy moment because of the importance of the book that was being opened.  Don’t miss the fact that there are thousands of people that stood and listened to the Bible being read for 6 HOURS.  That’s right. They stood “early morning until midday,” that is from 6:00am until 12:00pm!  They understood the great importance of the Word of God.

Now obviously, I understand that this is a bit of an extreme example, but it makes my point for me quite handily.  How many of us would stand in reverence of the Word of God for six hours as it is being read?  Are we even willing to sit for 30 minutes and read it in the comfort of our own home?  Are we acting as someone who values the Word of God?  Second Timothy 2:15 states, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”  If we are to be faithful followers of Christ, then we must treat and respect the Word of God with honor and awe.  We have to remember that there is power in the Word of God and we cannot act nonchalantly when we handle it.  Remember what Hebrews 4:12 says concerning the Word of God, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”  

So I leave you with a final question.  How do you treat the Word of God? Is it precious to you, or is it just another book on the shelf?