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Thoughts on the Christian life in a fallen world

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Empty Promises - Pete Wilson

The truth about you, your desires, and the lies you're believing.  Many of us believe the lies about ourselves that the world gives us.  Pete Wilson reminds us that we don't have to believe these empty promises and reminds us "You don't have to be in charge, because you have a God who's got your back. You have to surrender."  This is god advice and we all need reminders of God's plan for our life.
The author is founding and senior pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN.  This book has a foreword by Rick Warren.
The author covers most of the common trappings of this world, money, power, beauty, and even religion itself, with a chapter on each and real world stories of real people that have battled these things. The question he asks and we also need to ask ourselves is "How do we break free from these empty pursuits and start chasing the only Promise that will ever satisfy?" The rest of the book attempts a Biblical answer to this question.
I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever tried to fill their lives with empty pursuits in order to satisfy the emptiness inside all of us, which is all of us at one point or another.
I have been provided a complimentary copy of this book from Booksneeze.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Con - James Munton and Jelita McCleod

How Scams Work, Why You're Vulnerable, and How to Protect Yourself.  On the cover of this book is a painting by Heronymus, a 16th century painter called The Conjurer, which proves how old the conning game is. In chapter 1 the author states "We need to create a filter through which we pass all communication we receive."
They are talking about discernment.  When you read the stories of how others where conned, You will probably say to yourself, "How could this person not see through this?" But keep in mind the con uses emotions and vulnerability as their tools.
 This is an interesting book on the many variations of cons and ripoffs, some are familiar, and some not, that many have been the victims of.  The authors hope that by bringing these true stories to light they can help others avoid the same mistakes. After interviewing some of the con artists mentioned they came to the conclusion that "con artists, at least those who make a lifestyle of it, have no concern for other people's loss or suffering." 
There are chapters on the various types of scams, through the mail, telephone, face to face, emails, and identity theft. 
As a Christian, I do believe greed can bring out the worst in the fallen nature of man, and we do need to be "shrewd as snakes, and innocent as doves." Matthew 10:16. We also need to be aware of people trying to do us harm, so we can be good stewards of the resources God has given us. We need to balance this with being generous to others in need.  There is a well researched index and resource section, and how to avoid being a victim. 
I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in how the con works and doesn't want to be a victim.  After reading The Con, you will be better prepared to spot a con and understand the psychology that goes behind it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Truth about Grace - John MacArthur

This book is part of the Truth About Series from Thomas Nelson Publishers. The author is pastor of Grace Community Church and president of Grace to You which has a website, www.gty.org, and radio program. With only 5 chapters, this is a nice, short, easily readable book about the often misunderstood concept of God's grace.  Through many Biblical references, the author explains grace defined, received, misunderstood, realized, and lived out.
I particularly enjoyed how Mr. MacArthur has no problem pointing out errors and standing up for what is right regardless of how anyone else may feel about it.  For example, the difference between human merit and divine grace in the chapter on Grace misunderstood and twisted.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a Bible-based book on the true meaning of God's Grace.