Take a Look

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Phillip Keller is a writer for the heart. His writing touches readers from the first page to the last and this book is no different from his others.

A previous book, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, is a beautiful resource for understanding the guidance and presence of God. This book is a unique perspective as he breaks down the Lord’s Prayer in a simplified manner.

You will find this book to be a superb companion to the bible and not something that moves the bible aside. However, read this book with the application in mind because some of it you may find to be right on point and some you may find to be a stretch. This is why you must accompany this book with the bible and the historical context.

Otherwise, this is a fresh look at a common passage and one you will find encouraging.

Thank you to MP Newsroom. I received this book from MP Newsroom for the purpose of an unbiased review. 

The Chase is On…or off

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One of the temptations in life is that we must accumulate more & more to suppress the wanting desire that drives our lives so often. However, this “chase” becomes burdensome  & creates weariness like a mouse running on a wheel. For many, the chase is on from day  one, but the chase can be off, if you discover true contentment.

The author here wants contentment to be the ongoing experience through the delight of discipline in contentment. This is the key – the ongoing practice of contentment. The reality is that we are practicing one or the other, contentment or discontentment.

There is joy in contentment, while there is jealousy in discontentment. To practice contentment, one must let their faith dictate their drive in life. For example, what you believe about God will work it’s way into the daily decisions of your life. So if you do not believe that God is the giver of all good things, then you will allow discontentment to govern your mind & therefore your life.

This book is more than just a how-to, but it is helps address the “why” on both sides of the coin – theological & practical.

Once again, Crossway Publishers has given a book that looks at the foundational issues in a discontented life, rather than the surface value issue alone.

Thank you to Crossway publishers for the opportunity to review this book. I was not required to write a positive review.

Welcome to the World!

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The world surrounding you awaits you. High School was a journey that introduced concepts and perspectives to you, but college will reintroduce you to those and so much more.

Any time a person is getting ready for a trip or adventure, there is a preparation that must take place. Without it, you are unprepared and vulnerable to whatever may come your way.

With entering college, you are entering a stewpot of worldview, perspectives and ideas that can both help and harm you. Therefore, this book serves as a preparation encyclopedia of both theology and practicality for the college freshmen.

The author does due diligence to address things that are both common and unique to the college experience and the season of young adulthood. I found this book both challenging and refreshing to the mind. It paints a broad picture of everything that a student will have available to them while nailing the specifics of it all.

This is a resource that should be close at hand to those entering college and already in college. Pick this up for your graduate and their summer reading plan.

I received this book free from Kregel Publications as part of their Academic & Ministry Blog Review Service. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Gaining by giving

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Giving up is anti-culture in the West. For the culture screams & shouts to gain & consume at all costs. But there is a draw & power in giving up that is untapped by consumers.

The title lends itself to a play on words, because there is actually good in consciously giving-up something in order to gain something else. The season of Lent is designed to illuminate hope & victory. But it is hard to experience this when you’re in a daze from a totally consuming nature.

The author presses in on giving-up and/or fasting so that you are able to be filled with hope, love and genuine excitement for who God is and what He has done. The author realizes how hard this can be when our motor never stops running and our plate is tipping over from an unbalanced life.

This book is a simple book with a powerful premise that will truly tempt the reader to consider the good of giving up and what one can gain from pouring themselves out of the things that actually weigh them down and become burdensome.

You don’t have to wait until Lent to grab this resource and dive in. You may find this to be something you read throughout the year as you sense the unbalanced life building up.

Thank you to MP Newsroom. I received this book from MP Newsroom for the purpose of an unbiased review. 

Often Overlooked – Family First

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It all begins in the home with the family. One of most neglected avenues of life is the family. Many leaders sacrifice their family for anything & everything because they feel like it is just acceptable and that family is loyal. Perhaps one side of the family is, but it very much so takes both sides buying into loyalty.

The author’s premise is that if a leader wants to be a true leader, then he must start at home with his own family. This is where credibility and respect comes from. Without the family support, a leader cannot be a leader, because everyone will question his leadership skills if his family is out or order.

Paul emphasized the very same thing in his pastoral letters to Timothy so that Timothy would know what a true leader in the church looks like.

This book has a strong theological foundation that leads to specific application for the Christian leader. As stated above, the ministry of the family is often the most neglected avenue of influence for the Christian leader and that is not leadership at all.

Thank you to Crossway publishers for the opportunity to review this book. I was not required to write a positive review.

Daily Dose

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The classic remains a classic today. One of the reasons why Christians live in fear & defeat is because they have remembered that the enemy lurks and prowls around, but they have forgotten about the power that resides in them through the victory of Jesus.

Just as a daily vitamin aids your body in fending off disease and sickness, while promoting growth, a daily time in the Word of God can inspire, motivate and awaken you to spiritual growth and understanding your purpose.

This book has been used for centuries in aiding Christians to wake-up, suit-up and grow-up into Christ. It is true that the enemy lurks and prowls, ready to deceive. But just because he is attempting to deceive does not mean he has to accomplish that deceiving.

This is why Jesus used scripture that was in His heart to overcome temptation and give us the example of what it means to not sin against God.

This devotional resource is unique in it’s theme and applicable to all Christians no matter what season of spiritual life one is in.

Thank you to MP Newsroom. I received this book from MP Newsroom for the purpose of an unbiased review. 

The Fact of the Matter

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Did Jesus rise again? This question is what Christianity hangs itself on. Actually, it hangs on the answer to that question; Yes.

Of course, not everyone agrees that Jesus did rise from the dead and because of this disagreement, there are perspectives galore on the resurrection.

The perspective found in this book comes from much research of both sides of the perspective. That is a major factor in why this book can be respected. Not only do the editors have a foundation, but they explored the perspective of the opposition and that is not always the case in research.

There are critics who state that this book comes from the conservative perspective but even if so, these editors entertained and sought the other perspective out of respect, so that readers would consider both sides and come to a convicting conclusion.

However, as you read this book, along with many others, you will see that the two perspectives have an ongoing disagreement. The disagreement comes with the word FACT, as in the title of this book. If you can stomach the ongoing disagreements, you may be able to see why the Resurrection is at the center of history and is unlike any other religious leader’s claim(s) in history.

This is a book that one should consider reading to gain insight into the argument of did Jesus really rise again?

Thank you to Cross Focused Reviews for the copy. I was not required to write a positive review.

Extending Exegesis to Everyday Saints

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Exegesis is one of those theological words that scare away Christians and intimidate rookie seminarians. But this does not have to be so. Kregel Publications has been producing handbooks for quite some time that address the subject matter that is often not addressed by others. They do this to make what seems inaccessible become accessible. Once again, they have done a good job and this time with Apocalyptic Literature.

The contributors have zoomed in on the book of Daniel and it’s content to help readers understand the process of interpreting the book properly, which will therefore lead to proper application. This is the goal of interpretation – to understand the text and rightly apply it once it is understood correctly.

This is a resource that will be a companion to readers as they investigate the apocalyptic literature. The benefit of this resource is that it covers everything that accompanies this sort of subject matter. This is honestly a textbook in nature and leaves no matter unaddressed. Therefore, the reader will be thoroughly equipped and trained to rightly divide the word of truth in apocalyptic content.

I received this book free from Kregel Publications as part of their Academic & Ministry Blog Review Service. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

It’s Happening…

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Some of the best reads are those that are true stories. Readers often find themselves wrapped up in the stories as if it is re-happening right before them.

This book which highlights the real work of Jesus in the midst of the next generations will move you to tears, passion and prayerfulness. It all begins with a small spark created by the Holy Spirit in the life of one person. Next, it is what does that person do with the Spirit alive in them?

Brian Barcelona gave his life to Christ & therefore became on mission with Christ, but his mission field was the high school campus(es). That is how this book came to be. It is the documented work of God in the student bodies.

This story will move you to exhibit greater faith & therefore believe & invest in younger people. So often, we hear about how the younger generations are the “future”, but honestly, the question is, “Why not now?”

This book will help shatter stereotypes of younger people & see them as moldable, teachable and reachable vessels for the Kingdom of God.

Thank you to Cross Focused Reviews for the copy. I was not required to write a positive review.

Devotional Commentary

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Bible Studies on Mark is a very well-prepared resource for soul nutrition. A great meal takes time to prepare so that is can be thoroughly enjoyed.

When you sit down with this running commentary/bible study you’ll notice that this author & editor took their time to simmer over the gospel of Mark and other gospels for that matter.

Bible Studies on Mark reflect on Mark’s perspective of Christ in relation to the other gospels. You’ll notice how Christ served & suffered with great passion. You’ll also see how Jesus spoke to others with truth in love & compassion.

This is a commentary that does not fit the academic mold because the author was careful to format this as a conversation-based bible study. However, in no way does that diminish the scholarly truths of the Gospel of Mark. But the author was careful to tread in both waters of exposition and application.

There are 21 sessions of commentary & study through this book that will help you grasp & see the Gospel of Mark in it’s beauty & conviction.

Thank you to Cross Focused Reviews for the copy. I was not required to write a positive review.