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Thoughts on the Christian life in a fallen world

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Jungle Warfare - Christopher Cunningham

Subtitle - A basic field manual for Christians in sales, A 22 day power packed battle plan. This book is based on the author's grandfather's basic field manual dated Dec. 15, 1941 from WWII. He relates the world of sales with jungle warfare, using quotes from the manual at the beginning of every chapter. There are also Bible verses relating to each subject, a battle plan, a daily prayer, and a place to record personal thoughts and prayer requests.
The first part of the book is divided into 22 chapters, called battle plans, to be read one daily. The second part is titled jungle field support, and the author answers questions salespeople ask. Although primarily written for the salesperson on the road, a Christian in any type of sales can relate to most of these subjects.
One of my favorite quotes from the book involves your outward attitude:
"Your smile is an outward and visible sign of God's incredible power that is alive inside of you. Don't hide that light under a bushel."
This is advise that every Christian can relate to, not just salespeople.
As a Christian in sales myself, I found this book particularly interesting. I would recommend this book for a Christian in any type of sales position.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Good Choices Good Life - Michael Nelson

The main point of this book is if you make the right choices, ethical and honest choices, you will have a good life.The subtitle is Becoming the person you were intended to be. Included are real life stories of people, everyone from Randy Pausch and Michael Oher, who have made good choices and had a good life. Inspiring quotes are included from a variety of individuals such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Blake, and Carl Jung.  The author mentions writing this book for his grandchildren. This could have easily been a shorter book, many readers may be overwhelmed at the book's 331 pages.

I have mixed feelings about this book. The author appears to be active in a church, yet God is not mentioned until page 15. The more I read the book , the more impression I got that this was a how to live a moral life book, rather than a help for a stronger spiritual journey.
Among the sources listed in the back of this book I discovered several Stephen Covey books, and several others, while maybe morally correct, are not based on scripture. This was a cause of concern for me. 
 Making right choices is a good thing, however there is more to the Christian life than this.Subjects such as being honest, giving to others, and making the effort are included.  I could only recommend this book for those with a strong Christian background, who would not think just making good choices is enough. It should be made clear that " Becoming the person you were intended to be"  is only possible through accepting God's gift of salvation. The BEST choice anyone can make is to accept Jesus and make choices to live a life pleasing to God. That will lead to a good life, if not now, for all of eternity.

Pray Big For Your Child - Will Davis, Jr

Subtitle of this book is - The power of praying God's promises for your child's life. The author is pastor of Austin Christian Fellowship, a father of 3, and the author of other books on prayer. This one is more specific on praying for our children to help them to become all that God wants them to be. Will introduces the concept of pinpoint prayers, which are specific prayers based on scripture that go beyond the "God, bless my child" general prayers.He calls them BHAP, big, hairy, audacious prayers.

The author has included specific chapters on parents of sons and daughters.There are also chapters on praying for the influences and mentors your child will have in their lives.  It was interesting to read the author's views on Daniel and the circumstances he found himself in and the stand he took as a young man in Daniel 1: 12-20. Could our young sons take a same stand? Also included are a month's supply of pinpoint prayers as examples and praying for your child throughout the day.
I would recommend this book to parents of children of any age, especially parents of younger children. It will be on my list as a recommended book for parents.
This book was provided by the publisher at no cost to me.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Rules To Live By - Jerry White

Subtitle - 52 Principles for a better life. The forward to this book is by Ken Blanchard who many will know as the author of The One Minute Manager. This book is a collection of 52 very short chapters, some only 2 pages long, on important principles that can be applied by a person of any age. The writing is to the point and brief.
The author is international president emeritus of The Navigators, was a mission controller, and taught at the the US Air Force academy. He brings all of these experiences together to write about what is really important in life. The book is divided into three sections, A Better You, Relationship Rules, and Enchancing Your Work and Effectiveness. These all cover many different aspects of living a better life such as, learn to relax, be real, give yourself, and work hard.
I enjoyed this book, but wanted the chapters to be longer, wishing to dig deeper into some of the subjects. It is already at 170 pages, but it is a quick read. Many good suggestions are given and some down right common sense reminders, which are never bad. I would recommend this book to anyone, especially to give as a gift. This is another great book from Navpress.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Why We Play - David Thomas

This is the story of the Faith Christian Lions and a game that was played against the Gainesville State Tornandos in November of 2008, and the events leading up to it. This game was unique in many ways. It flys in the face of the usual competition of football and winning. The subtitle is Faith, Football and a season to believe.
The main force behind this miraculous game was the coach of the Lions, Kris Hogan. It was at his urging, that a spirit line was formed before the game, and half of the fans moved to the other side of the field to root for the shocked Gainesville team. This event sent the team and it's coach into the national spotlight, and many interviews with the press. They all wanted to know why? Why would a team do this? It's all in Why We Play.

The NFL and ESPN even arranged for a trip to the Super Bowl for the coach, and interviews with the international press. This has gone way beyond anyone could even imagine. It just proves that doing something against the grain can influence many, and who knows how many people heard about this game, and the attitude of the team. This book would appeal to even someone who is not a football fan.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

On This Day In Christian History - Robert Morgan

Subtitle - 365 Amazing and inspiring stories about saints, martyrs and heroes. The author is pastor of the Donelson Fellowship in Nashville, TN. This book has a page dedicated to each day of the year with a short synopsis of that day in the history of the church. Everything from the middle ages to the 20th century is covered.

This book brings to light famous and not so famous people and events of the day including, Eric Lidell, Martin Luther, Gutenburg, Jonathan Edwards.. Some days lead into the next, which makes for an inspiring read, for instance, to see how Billy Graham preached his first sermon.
  This book would appeal to any fan of church history of any age. It would be an interesting book for for speakers, preachers, and teachers, and has a index by topic. I'm sure many students could use it as a resource for learning. The author has done exhaustive research on many areas, and has a way of making what some may see as a boring subject, very interesting. Even those who are not history buffs will enjoy this book.

I found it interesting that a lot of people are mentioned that a lot of us have never read about in any other resource, and the effect they have had on so many people.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Beyond Halftime - Bob Buford

This book is the follow up to the successful Halftime. it is a shorter book with short easy to read chapters that were developed from the author's musings part of his website activeenergy.net. There are also questions at the end of every chapter that are more for personal reflection than group use. The author recommends using a journal to record thoughts and answers on what he calls the second half journey.
Bob was heavily influenced by Peter Drucker and  quotes him as one of his influences. It may be hard for some of us to relate to Bob's affluent background, but he assures all of us that having a lot of money is not a requirement for a successful halftime. All it takes is a desire to be used by God in this second half of life, and use your talents and energies to the best of your ability.
He spends most of chapter 12  comparing his approach to aging with Philip Roth's novel titled Everyman. He calls it the "antitext on aging well." It describes the exact opposite of what he is trying to do and encourage others to do as far as leaving a legacy, having regrets, envy, and remaining faithful. Sometimes it is good to understand the end results if you make the wrong choices.
It's not necessary to read Bob's previous book, Halftime, to understand  his point, but it would be to get the most out of it. I would recommend it to those who want to go further in halftime.