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Thoughts on the Christian life in a fallen world

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Principle of the Path - Andy Stanley

How to get from where you are, to where you want to be. Each decision you and I make is not isolated, it leads somewhere. Is the destination somewhere you want to be, or somewhere you would rather not be?  There is a path to each destination and this principle applies to every area of your life. This is what this book is about. It can be summed up as "Direction - not intention-determines your destination.You always wind up where the road you have chosen takes you. "
The author uses personal experience and stories of others he has counseled as proof. Andy Stanley is pastor and founder of North Point Ministries in Georgia. He uses scripture based on the life of David, Solomon and Reaboam. There is a study guide with questions for each chapter.
The right path is important in getting to the right destination. Many people don't regard daily decisions as related to a path that leads to a destination, good or bad. I would recommend this book to anyone who asks themselves How did I get here? and how can I avoid this in the future? and how can I help others avoid learning this the hard way?  Andy will help you answer these questions and more in this book that will help you understand the principle of the path.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Beginning Reader's Bible - Illustrated by Marijke ten Cate

This book combines two great ideas, combine actual bible text with beautiful illustrations for beginning readers. Covering verses from both the Old and New Testaments, it is written in a style so that a beginning reader can read it themselves, and parents can explain the story and context. The verses are taken from the International Children's Bible by Thomas Nelson. The illustrations by Marijke ten Cate are engaging and contribute to the story to remind children that these stories are about actual people that existed through use of facial expressions and body language of the characters.  Being a oversized hard cover book, and containing 180 pages, it will keep even the most avid beginning reader engaged for a long time.
I tested this book on a 7 year old who is just beginning to read and although some words were challenging, was able to get through the passages on her own. I was glad to see a child's Bible that used actual Bible passages.
Also included are memory verse charts, books of the Bible, memory verses from the Old and New Testaments. Each story has sections titled "Remember God's Word", "Do God's Word" and "Pray God's Word" that include activities and prayers for children to relate the Bible to everyday life.
Overall, a very nice collection of verses and encouragement to children to read the Bible and memorize verses. I would recommend this book to any beginning reader who wants to know more about the Bible.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Cause Within You - Matthew Barnett

Subtitle - Finding the one great thing you were created to do in this world. This author is the son of a famous preacher, and felt a lot of pressure to build a mega-church like his father. However, an encounter with the needy in Echo Park changed all that to a ministry to the homeless and street people. He then founded the Dream Center in Los Angeles and this book is how it came to be and examines it's growth and includes success stories of famous and not so famous people who have been helped through this ministry. Matthew really feels that he has found his calling in helping addicts kick the habit, training and helping others find jobs, and helping wherever and however needed. Many of his unique ministries are mentioned including the adopt-a-block program, where volunteers and staff visit the same block over and extended time doing whatever needs to be done.

The stories of people transformed in this book are amazing examples of what God can do in a person's life. Some have become staff members and counselors at the Dream Center to help others and pass it on. The only criticism I have is that God may not call you to that "one big thing " but several things at different stages in your life. I believe God can prepare us for different unique ministries based on our experience, personalities, and talents. Otherwise, this is an inspiring true story of a Christian truly helping others and showing God's love in the process.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Live Like You Mean It - T.J. Addington

Subtitle - The 10 crucial questions that will help you clarify your purpose, live intentionally, and make the most of the rest of  your life. Discover your "sweet spot" in God's kingdom. Foreword by John Ortberg. This book contains 10 chapters that tackle 10 important questions that we should all be asking ourselves such as, Why am I here? What really matters? and Will I say yes to God?  Each chapter concludes with a prayer, and group discussion questions. The author is the international ministry leader of the Evangelical Free Church of America.
He mentions a life-threatening illness as one of the things that made him reflect on the influence he was having on others and his life in general.
I enjoy any book that asks good questions, and this one was no exception. It is filled with scripture references and explanations, and will help you to clarify your role in God's kingdom. The author uses personal illustrations from his own life, including a near death experience and people that have influenced his thinking, to help him think more clearly about the purpose of his life. Some may see this book as  "Purpose Driven Life" part two, but this author takes a different approach and is well worth the time to read. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Recommended blog

I recently discovered a great blog by Tim Challies that I wanted to share.challies.com.It is the online home of Tim Challies, blogger, author, and book reviewer. Informing the Reforming. I found it to be full of interesting links and great reading.