Archive for the ‘book review’ Category

When I do book reviews (which I have been doing more of than blogging lately… sorry about that =), I am usually doing so for books for Thomas Nelson publishers. I am also started to review books for Multnomah Publishers as well. However, this book is not from a big publishing house. A matter of fact, it was handed to me by the author and her husband as an encouragement when I  filled the pulpit at their church in the Smokies not too long back. It was a small book but in the midst of all the ones to review or for study, I did not read it immediately.

Today, I picked it up as I headed to lunch and thought I would enjoy it over some Mexican food and enjoy it I did!


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If you go to the store to buy this book to read, might as well get a box of tissues while you’re out and about. You’ll need it! However, don’t let that stop you, the testimony in this book will be very encouraging to you.

The story is about a young boy who goes through a medical emergency and almost dies (the first half of the book). He claims that he went to heaven and has observations to the effect afterwards (the second half of the book). For this reason, I wasn’t too convinced I was going to like the book.  I hate reading about kids in life and death situations. It’s one of my worst fears and have no interest in going down that road. Then to here a kid talk about “heaven”, well, I wasn’t convinced it was going to be legit let alone impactful.

I was proven wrong! While painful to travel the road with the parents through the pain of the medical emergency, it was worth it to see what God was doing in th situation and the impact of the testimony on the back-end. The things this kid says to his folks over the next couple years about heaven are matter of fact, impactful, and full of confirmation. I was so pumped about heaven and the life we have after this one that I was encouraged in some areas of perseverance I am in now.

Another quick point, for a guy who does a bunch of reviews like this, I am not a reader. However, this book sucks you right in and I had it done in one sitting. This book is worth it and the testimony is powerful.

I got this book for free from the publisher for an honest review….

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”Amie Streater….delivers a powerful message of common sense and Biblical wisdom that today’s Churchgoers desperately need.” Dave Ramsey

As a financial guru, Dave Ramsey would know and after checking out this book, I would have to agree. Amie Streater speaks as someone who has authority to speak on the topic and for good reason. First, she is speaking as a minister of Jesus Christ but she is also talking from the perspective of one who has been there before.

As a pastor, I do get to meet many people who are struggling in the area of financial stewardship. That is not just having empty pockets which may or may not be within the control of the individual but not managing what they have already been entrusted with by God. This leads to bondage which is not what God has called us to subject ourselves to. He freed us for the sake of freedom.

As the author puts it “Our God is the Author and Creator of order and peace. It is not God’s will for any of His children to live in chaos, frustration, lack and debt…. If we get our heads and hearts right, we can line ourselves up with what He is doing, and our lives will mirror what God wants for us, in us, and through us.”

This is a great read with a great deal of instruction (some you have heard before, some you have not) but you should take a look. Then you should actually do something with it, it’s about time….

I got a copy of this book for free from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.

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First, an apology. I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson through booksneeze.com in exchange for an honest review. While most books you have an open amount of time to review, this one was due on 9/7/10. However, I lost the book. Last night, my wonderful wife found it for me and so now here it is, though a little tardy.

This version of the book is a gift book and a decent one at that. The basic concept is digging more into some testimonies concerning the “butterfly effect”. The butterfly effect is the theory that everything affects everything else so the smallest of actions you have multiple outcomes as it affects other things.

In this book, it shares a few stories and then traces how those things affect us even today. It is well researched and inspirational. I wouldn’t run out for a copy for myself but maybe a good gift for someone who is struggling feeling of worth or someone entering a new start in life.


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You can’t judge a book by its cover but when it comes to Max Lucado, you can tell a book by its title.

I respect Max Lucado’s ministry but must admit up front that I have not been a big fan of his books personally. It’s not the content, the content is tight…. It’s the style. I feel like I am reading a sermon series and that’s not the style of writing that clicks for me. Generally there is a neat, powerful center thought and the rest of the book tends to be supporting thoughts to drive the point.

This book fits that bill. The concept? You can (and we are called to) “out live you life” with the effect of your actions. That we are called to love and let God use us as we spend our life into others. The concepts, thoughts, and writings are well done on a very important topic that many people are not tapping into enough today.

Maybe the best way to sum up the need for this book is on the first few pages. Max Lucado notes that he was once asked three questions within the same month. If he was a Christian in Germany during the WW2, would he have made a stand against Hitler? If he was a Christian in the south during the Civil War, would he have made a stand against slavery? When your grand children realize you were alive when there were 1.75 billion people were poor and 1 billion were hungary, how will you justify your actions of today?

If you love Max Lucado book, you will love this book. If you’re not into his writing style, it might not be a smooth read. Either way, the topic at hand is too important not to take the time to read it and let the Holy Spirit challenge you in your life.

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Awhile back, we watch a presentation of “indescribable” by Louie Giglio where he does a presentation exploring the heavens. He does a great job of building and building how vast, powerful, and overwhelming God is and then brings it to the life changing reality of how in spite of this, He is mindful os us and desires a personal relationship with each of us. It is one of the favorite videos we have seen for many of those within our church.

This books does not quite you to tears concerning that reality, it does come close. The images are gorgeous and the thoughts and comments of the contributors match the theme well while adding to the experience of the book. Another aspect of the book that I admire is that it is an easy book to hand off to an unsaved friend as an outreach tool. If you have a friend who is into astronomy, this is a good find. If you have a friend who loves the whole creation vs evolution debate, this is a good find. If you have a friend who just likes to look at pictures of the stars…. well, you get the point.

I will close with my favorite quote from the book …. “I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist but I cannot conceive how he could look up into the heavens and say there is no God.”

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through the Booksneeze.com program in exchange for an honest review.

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About eight years ago, I was a youth pastor with a group of about 30 kids. One night, as we were talking about salvation, one of the kids talked about his view of salvation. Once he came to the Lord, he was ready for heaven. However, when we you sin (tell a white lie), you lose the salvation until you ask for forgivness and get it back. What a stressful and unBiblical way to live and I felt for him as he spoke about the back and forth relationship. Being a reader, I gave him Brennan Manning’s book “Ragamuffin Gospel” and as we talked more, he had a more complete view of God’s grace. I wish I had this book at that time as well.

Dr. Jeremiah offers a tapestry of stories from the life of John Newton (author of the hymn Amazing Grace), the apostle Paul, and the Scriptures to paint a picture of the grace that God offers us. It beautifuly inspires us to dive into His love while being people of grace ourselves.

If you have struggled with a picture of a troubled, mean, and judgmental God that you can not relate to, may I suggest you may not have yet met the God who offered His Son due to His love for you? Maybe it would be worth taking the price of a meal at Applebees and get a new vantage point. It would be worth the read….

I recieved a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through booksneeze.com in exchange for an honest review.

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10: 9

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