The Women of Easter

20 Feb

I’ve mentioned I sometimes get to read books for free. The latest is The Women of Easter by Liz Curtis Higgs. She has a Christmas one too. I’ll have to grab that one day. But I’ve always Loved Liz’ writings. I first got hooked on her with the Bad girls of the Bible series. She’s always had a great way of making Biblical people come alive for me. Sometimes I struggle to find them relatable but she continues to amaze me with how her writing presents itself so I can grasp it. I love that she introduces the characters and we take an in depth look at these three ladies.  Mary of Bethany, Mary of Nazareth, and Mary Magdalene have so much to teach us. It even has a study guide so we could use it for a small group. What a great idea!

I love that its full of scripture! Many times when I read books it glosses over scripture, paraphrases, or uses it out of context. I’ve loved this and look forward to incorporating it into my Easter readings.


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!

Love Unending

15 Nov

Sometimes I get the privilege to read a book before its out! It’s such fun- but seriously I love anytime I get to read. The latest book that I’ve gotten to read is Love Unending by Becky Thompson. I read her book Hope Unfolding earlier in the year and it was a delight.

So here are the details: it’s a marriage book, chapters are in the range of 10 pages so its doable with those mommas who have young kiddos, multiple jobs, lack of time-so basically all of us. I wouldn’t say it only applies to mothers with young kids. It’s set up with a 21 day challenge. Each day you get a challenge, time to reflect, and pray. It is fun because you get to anticipate your husbands reaction and then go back and evaluate how it went. Sounds like a fabulous idea right?! I mean I did those things in college…WAAAAAYYYYY back in the day. Some days I have to remind myself there was a time before I was a stay at home mom wiping tushies, playing diner and homeschool momma.

So here’s the deal- it’s available for pre-order on amazon. Seriously, whats more fun than mail…I mean this is cheap mail not medical bill from your son’s hospital stay oh say 6 months ago. But for real- it’s currently $8.92 with prime. Why are you still here? Jump over to amazon and purchase it….then come back and tell me you did. I just like to know- I mean maybe I’ll look and see if I see changes in your marriage too.

I tend to start each year with a marriage book-just kinda happens. But I think I’ll reread this again then. So if you want to join me in Jan 21 days of marriage challenge lets do this!

“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.

This is not a test

22 Oct

Ever have a season in your life where you are fighting hard for something but know it will eventually end…I remember potty training as that way. You can’t just give up for a few hours and run to Target and ignore the toddler insisting on going potty. If you do, you will undoubtedly be at the checkout with wet undies and pants and a tad bit of embarrassment! Or maybe you are raising a child with a food allergy- you read labels, ask questions but thankfully one day the child too will take over this job! One day long after they move out your home can have Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups once again.

Right now, I’m battling ants. I cannot let my guard down. I accidentally did last Sunday. I came home to what looked like the beaches filled at Spring Break but it was ants on pancake syrup. Gimme a break, we were running late to church! Needless to say I paid dearly for that lapse of cleanliness on my part.

In many ways our spiritual life is like this. You should fervently fight against sin like I battle those pesky ants, potty train that child, or look for allergens. However, this doesn’t end. We cannot take a break. TobyMac has a song out called “This is Not a Test”. I encourage you to go listen to it. One part of the song says “We gonna move, live every second Make it count for you.” It talks about having only one shot and going till we got nothin’ left and it being the real thing.

Such a great song but it sums up how I feel about the spiritual endurance we need to be striving towards. Let us press on as Phil 3:14 says with the end of Revelation 21 in mind.

So in what ways are you in the Spiritual fight? Bible study, scripture memorization, faithful church member, discipleship, prayer….? What are your weapons and how do you see it as a daily fight? Have you ever given up for a time?