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Thoughts on the Christian life in a fallen world

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Walking On Water - Tommy Nelson and Steve Leavitt

Walking on Water when you feel like drowning.  Finding hope in life's darkest moments.  There is hope for anxiety and depression, the back cover states, and the authors write from personal experience.  Tommy from one who has been through panic attacks, anxiety, stress, and depression. And Steve from the perspective of a counselor and the illness and death of his wife.  This book deals with these issues from a Christian perspective,   using scripture and Biblical concepts to help in the healing process.  Psalm 34:18 is a theme verse about the book "The Lord is close to the broken-hearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
Keith Hancey states about the book "Many think "if God were enough" then they wouldn't suffer."
In Chapter 10 with the title" Change Your Mind, Stop Believing the Lies"  presents ideas from a book with the title "Who I Am in Christ" by Neil T. Anderson, that uses Bible verses to refute lies that we tell ourselves by listing truths from scripture, line by line.
Chapter 9 speaks of the "performance trap" that many fall into from lies told from parents, society, and even the church itself.  The truth is "There is nothing else you could ever do to make God more pleased with you."  Or in other words, there is nothing you can do that can make God love you any less, or any more than He does right now.  That is unconditional love.
Many people in the secular world try all sorts of remedies for depression and anxiety.  Perhaps the best way to sum up this book is the statement on page 158 that "Hope will come only through Christ and a total reliance on Him."
I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever experienced on going panic attacks, depression, and anxiety, or wants to help someone who has.  The authors have written a Biblical response that is so  needed in the church today.
This book is a resource by Focus on the Family and is published by Tyndale Publishing.
I have received a copy of this book at no charge for the purpose of this review.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Gaither Homecoming Bible - Bill and Gloria Gaither

Inspiring hope through scripture, song, and story.  This Bible is over 1600 pages and weighs over 3 pounds so it is quite an undertaking for the editors Bill and Gloria Gaither.  There are stories of some favorite hymns and devotionals from friends of the Gaither's.  Some of these are musicians and speakers you may have heard of, Dallas Holm, Russ Taff, and Mark Lowry included.  
I have mixed feelings of including quotes and devotionals in this format in a Bible.  It can infer that man's words are on the same level as God's.  I'm sure that is not what they had in mind, but I can see how some may interpret this format.  There is a free Bible study tools download on nelsonfree.com/gaitherbible.
Despite that,  fans of the Gaither's will enjoy this Bible and the articles and poems written by them.  This Bible is in the New King James Version. 
Also included are quotes from greats of the faith reflecting on the importance of music in the life of believers.
I have received this Bible at no cost to me through the publisher for review.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Relentless Pursuit - Ken Gire

God's Love of outsiders.  Author Ken Gire was educated at Dallas Theological Seminary,  and in this book presents a Biblical based case for the perseverance of God in leaving the 99 to rescue the one. The idea was expanded in a poem titled "The Hound of Heaven" which is reproduced in the Appendix. I first heard this term from a song from the Christian Rock group Daniel Amos who had a song called Hound of Heaven. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHzP20QJhCs
The author reviews his experiences with Young Life, ADD, and being an outsider himself.  Perhaps the book can be summed up in the question he asks "What about the stranger who resides in us?"
This is the concept of how God pursues us, even when we go astray, desires to have us back in the fold, and rejoices when we return.  Using dialog from movies such as The Soloist and The Guardian, he shows how even in secular entertainment, the feeling of being an outsider can creep in.  The discussion and study questions are at the end of each chapter.  Author can be found on www.kengre.com, www.bethanyhouse.com, and on facebook.
Summing up the Gospel message in two sentences he writes - "Do you know what He did for you?  He searched for you, He found you, and He brought you home."
That pretty much says it all.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Book of Common Sense for a Successful Life - D.L. Dennis

10 Simple steps to assist you in your quest for a successful life.  The author had grown up in poverty and writes from one who knows how to be a success from practical experience.   In the first chapters he goes through his childhood growing up, first jobs in sales, and eventually became president of an insurance agency.  Chapters with such titles as Believe in Yourself,  Something for nothing, and Save as Much as you Spend, the author admits that you have probably heard all this before, but it is still good to have a reminder.  There is a list of what the author calls Truisms in the back of the book such as "Wisdom replaces youth, usually" and "Wasted talent is an affront to Nature." These seem to be mostly original twists on the theme of common sense.
What most people call common sense, is not so common after all.  A lot of this will be familiar if you have read Napoleon Hill or Zig Ziglar, and even a quote from James Allen from As a Man Thinketh.
Some of his most appropriate advice, in my opinion, is on page 50 where he says "Don't be afraid to step outside your comfort zone.  Your comfort zone may be what has kept you where you are right now."  It may be holding you back.
The author likens a successful life to a 3 legged stool of Financial, Social, and Spiritual.  I for one would like to have seen more emphasis on the spiritual side of relying on God to provide for your needs, regardless of the what the world calls a "success."
This book is published by truthbookpublishers.com.
I have been provided a complimentary copy of this book for review.