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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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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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This is a book on theology and apologetics. If you are a Christian and have never understood or have been intimidated by such things, this is a great book for you. “Beyond Opinion” is not an easy read but it is also not a hard read.

Ravi Zacharias has collected writings from different contributors on topics ranging from challenges to the faith, conversational apologetics, post modernism and more in an “every man’s” type dialogue. For those who want to dig into deeper issues of the faith including how we live in the culture around us without going to seminary or reading Greek and Hebrew….. you will find this book assessable.

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OK, let me cut to the chase of it….. if you’re looking for a devotional… buy this book! Now! Stop reading, go to your local Christian bookstore, and buy this book!

I am very picky when it comes to devotionals. For the most part, I just don’t like them. They are either new, trendy and shallow or they were written 100 years ago and have great but hard to read content. We make it a practice to do devotions as a family in the morning and half the time, it is more about spending time together and showing Emily (our 4-year-old) that quiet time is important than having impactful experiences. Am I depressing you yet?

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OK, with my normal book reviews I have to do the whole legal thing of saying I got this book for free in exchange for a review. Not so this time, I had the get the book all on my own (what’s up with that Mr. Kluck?) and then I decided to do a review.

Kinda Christianity is a tongue in cheek, sarcastic little book that is a play off of Brain Mclaren’s book “A New Kind of Christianity”. If you are looking for a book that debates the points Mr. Mclaren made in his book, this is not it. If you’re looking for a book that digs into the theology of Emergent verses the traditional Christian standard, keep looking (Maybe towards “Why We’re Not Emergent by the same author). If you’re looking for a funny take on the stereotypes with Emergent’s loudest voices that bust through the smoke screen of defenses to deflect from the errors with the Emergent movement….. one that will make you laugh and say “That’s not right….” at the same time….. BINGO! You found it!

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