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Thoughts on the Christian life in a fallen world

Friday, June 9, 2017

Make Yourself at Home - Kay Swatkowski

Discovering the heart of the church. This book is about the church. Actually, about what the church should be. The author. along with her husband, Raymond have more than 50 years of ministry experience, and this book is full of stories of churches they have encountered all over the world.
A book like this could only be written by people with this much ministry experience with people in different cultures.I enjoyed this book in may ways, and was glad to hear of so many Christians that take the scripture seriously to bear each other's burdens and care for each other. There is also a lot of scripture references, which is also a good thing. It is a very readable book and also has a bringing it home section at the end of every chapter, questions that can be used in individual or group study.
With quotes by C.S. Lewis, Francis Schaeffer and Henri Nouwen to round out the narrative, all in all a very enjoyable book, If you want to know what the church could be and should be doing, then read this book.
Published by Discovery House from Our daily bread ministries.

Words from the hill - Stu Garrard

An invitation to the unexpected. The Words on the Hill meaning the sermon on the mount, more specifically, the beatitudes. The author is Stu Garrard, best known for being the guitarist in the popular group Delirious? This book is based on the Beatitudes, and is autobiographical to the point of telling stories that have happened to him, people he has met and their stories, and life along the way. He has seen God's grace and forgiveness all around the world. He does his best to remain relevant by mentioning U2 and Amy Grant along the way also. Most enlightening to me was the author's desire to fit into the American culture after moving here from England, and trying to fit in.
The Beatitudes project is the name of the project and the album by some of the most popular Christian music performers, including Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant. In fact he recounts the story of writing a song with Amy Grant in the book. The website is thebeatitudeproject.com and there you will find links to the organizations mentioned in the book, so the reader could contact them and get involved. I like that there is a call to action on the reader's part to get involved.
Am interesting take on the beatitudes, with chapters titled Poor in spirit, Mourn, Pure in heart, and peacemakers. Each chapter from the Words on the Hill.
This book is published by Navpress.
I have received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a review.

The Heist - Chris Durso

The Heist is a book by Chris Durso, who is the founding pastor at Misfit NYC, a ministry for millennials in New York. Chapter titles such as The Comeback, home is always an option and The Extra weight, letting go is necessary the author makes the point that Jesus commited the perfect heist. This might be a term we don't associate with the life of Jesus, but it seems to be a valid point. He starts out chapter one with a quote from Kevin Spacey's character in The Usual Suspects, which is something that you don't usually see in a "Christian" book, but it seems to fit the context. This book's audience is targeted at a younger age than myself, it still seems to fit. The point of the book is Jesus, through His life, death and resurrection robs the enemy of his ability to shame us and robs death of it's sting. 
Through the parable of the prodigal son, the theme runs through out this books.
Published by Waterbrookmultnomah. www.waterbrookmultnomah.com.
I have received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Nothing to Prove - Jennie Allen

Why we can stop trying so hard. The author is founder of If:Gathering, that you may have heard of or even attended. On page 63, the author states, "We cannot do it ourselves. We have to be saved." and on this point I agree. But, there are many other points that I disagree with the author. It all sounds so good on the surface, the IF: Gathering website states, "In response to great division and theological disputes in the first three centuries of the church, a council formed to bring unity and agreement over the most essential doctrines of Christianity. One of the creeds that has stood the test of time is the Nicene Creed. This creed became a guiding statement of faith for the Church. We now find ourselves divided over many, many things - and yet about the most important things we whole-heartedly agree."
It seems the over-riding factor in these types of books written for the modern Christian woman is that it is full of emotionalism, and very few are deeply theological.
Also from the website, "In 2007 Jennie Allen sensed God telling her to disciple a generation."
More can be read here about Jennie Allen:http://www.truthkeepers.com/?p=763

I can not recommend this book based on what I have read.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Prayng the Psalms - Ben Patterson

Drawing near to the heart of God. The author states, :Praying the Psalms is a beginner's guide to learning to pray the Psalms." This book is in the smaller size format, similar to Seeing Jesus, and also published by Tyndale. Also most quotations are taken from the New Living Translation of the Bible.
Select Psalms are quoted, and suggestions are made of how to pray, using the Psalms as  a guide.
I can see how this book can be used as a gift to just about anyone wanting to know more about how to incorporate the Psalms into their daily prayers. I enjoyed the size and portability of the format, and can imagine this book being used as an individual devotions or as a group study of the Psalms. It's hard to pick out certain Psalms to include because many are prayers and supplications.
There is am index in the back for Psalms for specific needs, by catagory.
I would recommend this book to just about anyone, as we can all learn more about the Psalms.
I have received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a review.