Category : Books

All, Books
0

Book Review: The Measure of Our Success

Author: Shawn Lovejoy
Link: https://www.amazon.com/Measure-Our-Success-Impassioned-Pastors/dp/0801014603/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1498945473&sr=8-2&keywords=The+Measure+of+Our+Success
Genre:  non-fiction
Rating: Must Read (Rating System)

Publisher Bio

Using Scripture, personal examples, and case studies, Lovejoy leads pastors back to their first love, and in doing so he leads them toward a more effective and joy-filled ministry.

My Observation

Great book about proper expectations in ministry. Our job is to make God proud and nothing else. It reminds me of a great quote by Larry Osbourne. He says that he reminds himself all the time, “You have nothing to prove and no one to impress.” This book helps every pastor find the truth north for our limitless ambition.

Read More
All, Books
0

Book Review: Neverwhere

Author: Neil Gaiman
Link: https://www.amazon.com/Neverwhere-Novel-Neil-Gaiman-ebook/dp/B000FC130E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498945453&sr=8-1&keywords=neverwhere
Genre:  fiction
Rating: If You Have Time (Rating System)
Any Warnings: some language and violent scenes described.

Publisher Bio

Under the streets of London there’s a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. This is the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks.  Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his workday existence and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and utterly bizarre. And a strange destiny awaits him down here, beneath his native city: Neverwhere.

My Observation

Purely for entertainment reading. I listened to this as a BBC production radio theater. Loved it. Drew me in immediately. I do not like most of Neil Gaiman’s books based on his obsession with Norse Mythology. However, this book was very original with many twists and turns.

Read More
Books
0

Book Review: The Story of Reality

Author:Gregory Koukl, Nancy Pearcey
Genre:  non-fiction
My rating: Must Read
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Story-Reality-Everything-Important-Happens/dp/0310525047/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1492718092&sr=8-1&keywords=the+story+of+reality 

From the Publisher:

Biblical Christianity is more than just another private religious view. It’s more than just a personal relationship with God or a source of moral teaching.

Christianity is a picture of reality.

It explains why the world is the way it is. When the pieces of this puzzle are properly assembled, we see the big picture clearly. Christianity is a true story of how the world began, why the world is the way it is, what role humans play in the drama, and how all the plotlines of the story are resolved in the end.

In The Story of Reality, bestselling author and host of Stand to Reason, Gregory Koukl, explains the five words that form the narrative backbone of the Christian story. He identifies the most important things that happen in the story in the order they take place:

God
Man
Jesus
Cross
Resurrection
If you are already a Christian, do you know and understand the biblical story? And for those still seeking answers to the questions of life, this is an invitation to hear a story that explains the world in a way nothing else will. This story can change your life forever.

My Observation:

 Absolutely amazing. Immediately became a yearly read for me. This book does what college professors spend years trying to teach theology students how to do. It takes the highest thoughts on the biggest questions and places them on the bottom shelf so everyone can understand them. I would recommend this book for any Christian who wants a greater understanding of the big picture of God, life, evil, justice, mercy, and where we fit in all of those area.

Read More
All, Books
0

Book Review: Death By Black Hole

Author: Neil Degrasse Tyson
Genre:  non-fiction
My rating: If you have time (probably won’t change your day to day life)
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Death-Black-Hole-Cosmic-Quandaries/dp/039335038X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1492715751&sr=1-1&keywords=Death+By+Black+Hole

From the Publisher:

“[Tyson] tackles a great range of subjects . . . with great humor, humility, andmost important humanity.” Entertainment Weekly

Loyal readers of the monthly “Universe” essays in Natural History magazine have long recognized Neil deGrasse Tyson’s talent for guiding them through the mysteries of the cosmos with clarity and enthusiasm. Bringing together more than forty of Tyson’s favorite essays, ?Death by Black Hole? explores a myriad of cosmic topics, from what it would be like to be inside a black hole to the movie industry’s feeble efforts to get its night skies right. One of America’s best-known astrophysicists, Tyson is a natural teacher who simplifies the complexities of astrophysics while sharing his infectious fascination for our universe.

My Observation:

It was good. This book is a textbook for many students jumping into the astrophysical world so I would not call it “light reading”. Death By Black Hole reveals just what level of geek I really am. I thoroughly enjoyed it. From a Christian WorldView (which the author does not share), it is fascinating to see how God has created the Universe and how we have tried to define it. I would not recommend this book for everyone but those out there who are still curious about how the universe works, it is something fun to read. 

Read More
All, Books
0

Book Review: The Me I Want to Be: Becoming God’s Best Version of You

Author: John Ortberg
Genre:  non-fiction
My Rating: Must read
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Me-Want-Be-Becoming-Version/dp/031034056X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1492715684&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Me+I+Want+to+Be

From the Publisher:

The Me I Want to Be by John Ortberg—the bestselling author of When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box; God Is Closer Than You Think; and The Life You’ve Always Wanted—will help you discover spiritual vitality like never before as you learn to “live in the flow of the spirit.” But if God has a perfect vision for your life, why does spiritual growth seem so difficult? John Ortberg has some intriguing answers to that question, and he has organized his thoughts and God’s words into a straightforward and timely guide for living your best life in The Me I Want to Be. This book will show how God’s perfect vision for you starts with a powerful promise. All those who trust in God “will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7-8). Ortberg urges you to recognize your brokenness, understand that God is the project manager, and follow His directions. The author first helps gauge your spiritual health and measure the gap between where you are now and where God intends you to be. Then he provides detailed tasks and exercises to help you live in the flow of the Spirit, circumventing real-world barriers—pain and sorrow, temptations, self-doubt, sin—to flourish even in a dark and broken world. As you start living in the flow, you will feel: — a deeper connection with God — a growing sense of joy — an honest recognition of your brokenness — less fear, more trust — a growing sense of being “rooted in love” — a deeper sense of purpose God invites you to join Him in crafting an abundant and joy-filled life. The Me I Want to Be shows you how to graciously accept His invitation.

My Observation:

Where has John Ortberg been? How have I missed this author? Wow. This book spoke directly to my soul and left me stopping after almost every page to consider what was written. This book is one of those that you read again as soon as you finish it. Every Christian should read this book and grow.

Read More
All, Books
0

Book Review: Better Than Good: Creating a Life You Can’t Wait to Live

Author: Zig Ziglar
Genre:  non-fiction
My Rating: Must read
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Better-Than-Good-Creating-Life/dp/0785289194/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1492715615&sr=1-1&keywords=Better+Than+Good

From the Publisher:

The Ultimate Challenge: To Be Better Than Good

He has spent his life helping other people to realize their dreams and experience maximum success. Now comes Zig Ziglar’s high-impact work that calls you to the passion, purpose, and practical tools that can ignite the peak performance you long for.

In the real-life stories Zig shares, drawn from nearly fifty years as a world-class motivatinal author, speaker, and businessman, you’ll discover how others have risen above fear and failure to embrace the quality of life they were meant to have. Their experiences will teach you how to accomplish more than you ever dreamed possible, even as you learn: the three pillars of the Better Than Good, life new discoveries that will motivate you for life, how to develop a strategic plan that accomplishes your goals, what often keeps good people from reaching the ultimate level of productivity and happiness, ways to form better-than-good habits that can take you to new horizons of success . . . and much, much more!

Let the master of motivating help you clear your mind of failure-prone thinking, as together with Zig Ziglar, you redefine success and take hold of your dreams. Let him inspire you to be Better Than Good!

My Observation:

I do not believe there is anyone who can encourage and motivate quite like Zig Ziglar. He has a way of making the impossible seem not only possible but fairly simple. This book is on my yearly reading list and should probably be on a monthly reading list. Everyone needs a daily dose of Zig Ziglar. 

Read More
All, Books
0

Book Review: Running with the Giants: What the Old Testament Heroes Want You to Know About Life and Leadership

Author:  John Maxwell
Genre:  non-fiction
My Rating: Must read
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Running-Giants-Testament-Heroes-Leadership/dp/0446530697/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1492715527&sr=1-1&keywords=running+with+the+giants

From the Publisher:

Motivational guru John C. Maxwell finds inspiration and encouragement in the lives of Old Testament personalities.

My Observation:

I mean, come on… it’s John Maxwell. It must be good!
Seriously though, many people forget that long before Maxwell was a world renown leadership guru, he was a successful pastor. He has said often that his reason for moving into the ‘business world’ and away from pastoring was because he wanted to reach business leaders. He said he realized the best way to win a company was to win the leader. This book was so good, I recently used it to do a message series at Real Life Church. Highly recommend reading both for leadership tips and also for devotional reading. 

Read More
All, Books
0

Book Review: The Longest Day

Author: Corneluis Ryan
Genre:  non-fiction, history
My rating: If you have time
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Longest-Day-Classic-Epic-D-Day/dp/0671890913/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1492715458&sr=1-2&keywords=The+Longest+Day+

From the Publisher:

The Longest Day is Cornelius Ryan’s unsurpassed account of D-Day, a book that endures as a masterpiece of military history. In this compelling tale of courage and heroism, glory and tragedy, Ryan painstakingly recreates the fateful hours that preceded and followed the massive invasion of Normandy to retell the story of an epic battle that would turn the tide against world fascism and free Europe from the grip of Nazi Germany.

This book, first published in 1959, is a must for anyone who loves history, as well as for anyone who wants to better understand how free nations prevailed at a time when darkness enshrouded the earth.

My Observation:

As a history fan, this book has been on my reading list for a while. What I found was a few a diamonds in a whole lot of rough. The book is a great piece one of the biggest battles in history. My only issue was that I was hoping for a little more backstory as to how the day came about. Still worth reading for all the history fans. My number one takeaway was learning that Eisenhower read Western novels to help get his mind off of the war. He would obsess over the details and would use Westerns to give his mind some piece. This resonated with me because this is exactly what I do only not with Western novels. I tend to get more into historical fiction and adventure fiction. 

Read More
All, Books
0

Book Review: How’s Your Soul?

Author: Judah Smith
Genre: non-fiction
My rating: If you have time
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Hows-Your-Soul-Everything-Matters/dp/0718039173/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1492715077&sr=1-1&keywords=how%27s+your+soul+judah+smith

From the Publisher: 

Judah Smith, New York Times bestselling author of Jesus Is ______, explores what it looks like to cultivate a healthy soul in the midst of a busy life and points readers to the soul’s only true home and place of rest and fulfillment: God.

“How’s your soul?”

It may seem like an odd question, but it’s what pastor and bestselling author Judah Smith chooses to ask his friends, rather than “How are you?” It’s a way to look past the externals and consider what’s going on inside, in that essential part of us that is often overlooked in the struggle to make our way through everyday life.

In the rush of living moment to moment, many of us find ourselves simply surviving, struggling daily with frustration, restlessness, boredom, and ever-fleeting joy. But if we would pause, we’d find that the things that matter most in life, what we are searching for in our busyness—stability, peace, hope, love—are rooted in the health of what Judah calls the “inside you.”

In How’s Your Soul?, Judah explores that “inside you.” Sharing his own, often humorous, mistakes and foibles, he helps us find our way through the emotional roller coasters of life to discover the soul-healing essentials of rest, responsibility, restraint, and relationships, all rooted in what he calls the soul’s only true home—God himself.

How’s Your Soul? is an invitation to find lasting emotional satisfaction and stability by bringing our feelings into alignment with God’s truth, moving beyond simply surviving, and learning how to live each day with eternal significance.

My Observation:

Honestly, this book had a few moments of brilliance but otherwise it wasn’t really for me. I don’t know if I didn’t like the book or I just expected something different. Either way, I admit being disappointed. It seemed a little too “surface” level for what I expected from Judah Smith. Judah seems to spend almost the whole book convincing us that his soul needs attention and if his does, our soul probably does too. The hope was to find a book that already assumes we know ours souls need nourishment and, instead, move straight into how to get that accomplished. Anyway, Judah Smith is a great author. If you have the time, read it and maybe you will get something a little more or at least a little different. 

Read More
Books
0

Book Review: Shaken: Discovering Your True Identity in the Midst of Life’s Storms

Author: Tim Tebow
Genre: non-fiction
My Rating: Should Read
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Shaken-Discovering-Identity-Midst-Storms/dp/0735289867/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1492714554&sr=8-1&keywords=shaken

From the Publisher:

Who are you when life is steady? Who are you when storms come?

Most of us have been on the receiving end of rejection, a broken dream, or heartbreak. And while this is not an easy space to go through, when we are grounded in the truth, we can endure the tough times.

In this powerful book, Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow passionately shares glimpses of his journey staying grounded in the face of disappointment, criticism, and intense media scrutiny. Following an exceptional college football career with the Florida Gators and a promising playoff run with the Denver Broncos, Tebow was traded to the New York Jets. He was released after one season.

In Shaken, Tebow talks about what he’s learned along the way, building confidence in his identity in God, not the world. This moving book also features practical wisdom from Scripture and insights gained from others who have impacted Tebow in life-changing ways.

Though traveling hard roads is not easy, it’s always worth it! Your Circumstances do not Define You. Your Identity Does.

What do you do when life takes an unplanned detour? When the unexpected happens? When doubt or negativity tries to rise above your faith? Most of us can relate to these questions.

Through a dynamic lens of story and insight, Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow tells what he’s learned during the highs and the lows of his journey in the NFL. Shaken also features practical wisdom from the pages of Scripture and moving narratives of individuals—from celebrities to cancer patients—who have impacted Tebow’s life. Their inspiring stories will encourage you also to tackle fear, overcome bitterness, and take on the obstacles life throws at you.

My Observation:

Really is a great book. This book about having the proper perspective and if you are a college football fan, you’ll enjoy hearing Tebow’s journey through the Pro League. I cannot help but think many college players have similar experiences in the pros. 

Read More
All, Books
0

My Book Reading Rating System

I have added a section to my book reviews and wanted to share them with you. This is in response to conversations I have had where people talk about not having much time for reading. They say that they only have time to read a few books a year so which ones are good but not necessary and which ones need more attention. Since it is not worth having the conversation about how we make time to do what we want to do so everyone has time to read, I decided to play along and add a rating system.

Here is my new book rating system and what they mean:

Must read– Add to the top of your reading list. This book is worth reading now. I will be reading it again. 

Should read– It’s a good book but not life changing. I might read this again but not likely. 

If you have time– This book is something that has enjoyment but nothing to go out of your way to read. Definitely don’t buy it. Instead, check for it at your local library. I will not be reading this book again. 

If you are bored– This book is something I sort of regret reading. I finished it but not with fond memories. If you read this one, you probably have nothing better to do. 

Don’t waste your time– Most likely did not finish this book. Get away from it quickly because it will most likely explode. 

Read More
Books
0

God Smuggler

Book: God Smuggler
Author: Brother Andrew
Amazon Link: Click here

From The Publisher:

In the anniversary edition of this electrifying real-life story, readers are gripped from the first page by the harrowing account of a young man who risked his life to smuggle Bibles through the borders of closed nations. Now, sixty years after Brother Andrew first prayed for God’s miracle protection, this expanded edition of a classic work encourages new readers to meet this remarkable man and his mission for the first time.

Working undercover for God, a mission that continues to this day, has made Brother Andrew one of the all-time heroes of the faith. His narrow escapes from danger to share the love of Jesus will encourage and embolden believers in their own walks of faith.

My Observation:

Books like this are a must for every Western Christian. It is so easy to forget that we are so blessed to enjoy our faith so freely. Books like this remind us how precious our faith truly is.

Read More
1 2 3 4 6
Get my posts in your inbox!
Subscribe