Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Book Review – Graciousness: Tempering Truth With Love by John Crotts

Real Practical Help and Motivation for Developing Graciousness

A self-righteous, angry person who is argumentative and lacking graciousness in dealing with others needs this book, but probably won’t be willing read it. Such a person would not think the book relevant. But rip the book in half and hand him chapters 6-10 and the book might just serve him as Nathan the prophet did David when Nathan said: “You are the man!”  These last chapters get practical and specific about what graciousness looks like and what behaviors need to change to make one gracious.

I found chapters 1-5 hard to wade through, as I am already convinced that graciousness is required of us. But I absolutely loved the clear, practical, detailed instructions given in chapters 6-10.

This book will well equip you to counsel or confront an ungracious person with tools that will really help. It will encourage you that change is not only required but possible.

I was given a review copy by Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for a fair review.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Help For Bible Teachers Tired of Moralistic Lessons

Bible teachers won't want to miss today's Kindle deal. This series of plenary talks on the book of Nehemiah comes out of the Gospel Coalition's 2014 National Women's Conference. Each chapter covers 2 chapters in Nehemiah, authored by some well-known favorites including Kathy Keller, Tim Keller, Nancy Guthrie, John Piper and D.A. Carson.

While the book has some excellent 'Reflect and Pray' questions at the end of each chapter, I found the reflections on how the chapter demonstrated thinking as an expositor incredibly helpful. The Introduction "On Exposition" and the conclusion "On Old Testament Narrative" by Kathleen Nielson made me happy to have purchased the Kindle version 2 days ago at full price, BUT you can get this treasure today on Amazon for $2.99. Don't miss it!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

A Great New Board Book!

The Biggest Story ABC Board book by Kevin DeYoung Illustrated by Don Clark

I knew this book would be good even before I saw it.  Kevin DeYoung is the author of the excellent children’s book The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden and several adult books.

From the publisher: “From Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden to Zion and the new creation world, the Bible is telling one big story—the story of God's promise to deliver his people. Kevin DeYoung, best-selling author of 'The Biggest Story,' has written a new, 32-page board book to help kids ages 1 to 3 make connections from Genesis to Revelation and from A to Z”

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Two Wonderful Examples of How To Ask For Forgiveness

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

I enjoyed watching the Netflix TV series Anne With An E so much I just had to read the book on which it is based. I loved the way irrepressibly optimistic Anne, a bright 11-year-old orphan girl, used her wit and imagination to cope with the difficulties of her childhood. From the very beginning of this story, Anne captured my heart as she navigates her way through what promises to be a turnaround in her life.  

Perhaps of interest to those who attended Pastor Jims evening series on forgiveness, the story also just happens to have to two wonderful examples that illustrate so well what makes a good apology (express regret, accept responsibility, make restitution, genuine repentance, request forgiveness). The first is when Anne has to ask a neighbor to forgive her for being rude. The second is when Marrila, the girl's ward, has to ask Anne for forgiveness.

A friend of mine says he read this book 41 times when he was growing up. The storyline, the writing and the character development make this a very worthwhile and enjoyable read even as an adult.

A Great Conversion Story

Surprised by Oxford: A Memoir by Carolyn Weber 

Once in a while, I like to read a book that stretches me and a book I would not ordinarily read. When the Kindle version of this book recently went on sale I purchased it and was rewarded with a well-written look into the life and mind of a Canadian women who won a full scholarship to study literature at Oxford.

Arriving in London as an agnostic, the memoir describes her conversion to Christianity in the midst of liberalism. The stretch in this book for me was understanding the quotes from Byron, Lewis, Milton and other romantic period writers.

What I liked about the book was the story of God’s pursuit to capture this women’s heart and the skill of the author in showing how faith is compatible with intellectual pursuits. In this regard, it reminded me of Rosario Butterfield’s The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert.

This book is not for everyone, but if you are looking for a gift idea for someone who likes memoirs, conversion stories or well-written literature, this one is a good bet.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Book Review – One Nation Without Law: The Rise of Lawlessness, the End Times and the Power of Hope by Phil Hotsenpiller

So much written about prophecy tends to be narrowly focused and speculative. However, Phil Hotsenpiller has made a helpful contribution to understanding the source and working of evil in the passage of time toward the return of Christ. He shows how lawlessness, as the bible predicts, increases as we reach the end times, giving specific examples from history.  At the same time, the author encourages us to endure to the end, as the victory over lawlessness is assured.

While I do not agree with all the correlations between historical events and the bible, I was convinced that I need to reconsider the special place that the nation of Israel has in God’s heart and the future ingathering of the Jews. A worthwhile read.

I was given this book by Chosen in exchange for an honest review.