Monday, December 23, 2013

NIV Essentials Study Bible

The NIV Essentials Study Bible is a well laid-out Bible that draws from six different resources. Having used both the NIV Quest Study Bible and the NIV Archaeological Study Bible I was curious to see how this study Bible would look. 

The first thing is that I found the Bible to really good placement of notes, facts, study helps, and archaeological information. I never felt that the notes distracted me from reading the Biblical text and found the helps to be at good places to reflect on what I read. I also like how relevant each study help was to the passages I was reading. For example, some background on what was happening in the world when Paul wrote Romans shed light on some of the phrases and statements Paul makes. This allowed for better comprehension and understanding of the points Paul was trying to make. 

I also found that the Bible was decent size. I must admit that it is slightly on the heavy side and would probably not be a good Bible for personal devotions where one just wants to read. However, the typeface is an ideal size and didn't cause me to squint or bring the Bible closer so that I could read it.

I would recommend this Bible for someone wanting to do deeper studying and for those who want a historical context as they read. I would suggest those looking for study/devotional probably try a lighter Bible with fewer helps.

*I received this book free from the publisher through the® <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Kingdom Man by Dr. Tony Evans

*I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the Tyndale Blog Network. The words are my own and I was not influenced in any way to write a positive or negative review.*

Dr. Tony Evans has written a timely and very much needed book in Kingdom Man. Dr. Evans lays out what a man who is transformed by God should look like and how he should act. Being a man is more than just growing up male. It is a responsibility from God to be a protector, provider, moral guide, and leader. All of this should be done with a kingdom-minded bent.

Dr. Evans builds the foundation of what a kingdom man should be with each chapter. Items such as provider are discussed and shown to be more than just "bringing home the bacon." A provider should provide emotional security, spiritual security, moral security, and yes, financial security.

A kingdom man is also a leader, leading his family, community, workplace, and church in the way of truth, righteousness, and humility. Too many men sit back and take it easy. This should not be the case and Dr. Evans challenges men to live a life of adventure, to desire to get on the field and battle it out. The collapse of a family, community, and nation occur when men abdicate their responsibility of leadership.

There is much more to this book and I would highly recommend that every man get a copy and dig deep into the teachings and ultimately strive to become a Kingdom Man.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Live 10 by Terry Smith

John 10:10 “I have come that you may have life and have it to the full.” Are you living a life that is full? Does life present itself as an opportunity for joy and success? These questions and more are the subject of Terry Smith's book: Live 10.

In his book, Smith challenges the reader to realize that life is much more than just eating, sleeping; existing. He encourages and spurs each person to reach his/her maximum potential that is offered by a life fully devoted and committed to God. He goes about this spurring by dividing the book into seven parts.

The first part is Awaken. The reader is encourage to wake up from the notion that life is something that God gives each of us and how we are to use our lives to be more than just bodies.

The second part is Discover. This section goes into discovering what God sees and how to align our vision with His.

The third part is Imagine. Imagine if everyone had the audacity to be creative, adventurous, bold, daring, and unstoppable. Smith gives many reason why this should be the case with one of those reasons being: God is with you when you do His work. If God is with you, who can stop you?

The fourth part is Grow. This has to do with each person continually growing in who they are as a person and ultimately as a child of God. I particularly like the last chapter in this section: Keep Doing the Right Things. How often many are discouraged and give up when continue to do what is right should never be compromised.

The fifth part is Act. This is a no-brainer. If you know you should do something...DO IT. Don't shirk your responsibility if you see a need.

The sixth part is Lead. Everyone is a leader is the overarching message of this section. From there each chapter gives instruction on who a leader is and what a leader does. A great chapter in itself for those aspiring to lead.

The final part is Go. This section is about moving when times get rough and hard. Don't let circumstances distract you from your God-given vision. The journey may not be easy but it is worth the effort.

Such a great book that I found myself through the first third in one sitting. I kept reading and digesting. One thing that is nice is that each chapter is short for reflection and each part has some reflection questions at the end. I highly recommend this book and encourage those coming out of high school and going into college to read this.

*I received this complimentary copy from I was not influenced in anyway to give a positive or negative review. The words are my own.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Ragamuffin Bible, NIV

The Ragamuffin Bible is a thought provoking Bible with thoughts and quotes from Brennan Manning, author of The Ragamuffin Gospel. While not a devotional Bible per se, it has some great material that can be used for devotional means.

I found the Bible to quite nice in size and feel. Some Bibles try to pack in so much that the Bible is either heavy in weight or the font size is made smaller to lessen the weight. The font of this Bible makes for easy reading and enough room for some small, personal notes by the reader.

I really enjoyed the placement of the quotes/thoughts by Mr. Manning. They did not distract the reader from the text but were at good locations to read when the time was right.

As to the audience, this would be a great Bible for those that are in a "struggle" time in life. The meditations and wrestles of Mr. Manning will resonate with those trying to make sense of things when God's actions seem mysterious.

*I received this book from in exchange for an honest review. I was not influenced in any way to write a positive or negative review.*

Four Blood Moons by John Hagee

Does the sky point to upcoming events? Have the celestial bodies pointed to major events in the past? Are there important events in the night sky in the near future? If so, what could that mean?

John Hagee discusses these questions and more in his newest book: Four Blood Moons. Hagee is addressing the upcoming four blood moons that will begin in 2014 and end in 2015. He details in the book why he believes that this event will be the sign of something major to happen to the nation of Israel and its implications for Bible prophecy.

First, Hagee lays the foundation of why he believes the blood moons will foretell important events in the first three chapters of the book. He gives his history on why he began to look at the night sky and relate it to Bible prophecy. He gives accounts such as the Star of Bethlehem and the sun standing still in the book of Joshua as two examples of the sky showing God's power and control.

The next section goes into detail about major Biblical prophecies that have yet to take place but will take place. Hagee gives many Biblical references for his beliefs as he lays the groundwork for what he believes may shortly take place. He discusses the rapture, the role of the land of Israel, what the end of days will look like, and ultimately the return of Jesus Christ as Lord of the world. With this foundation laid, Hagee then goes int the blood moons.

The final section gives the reader foundation for why the blood moons are so important. Hagee recounts the last three occurrences of the four blood moons in the last 500 years and what happened to Israel during that time. By giving the events, Hagee then makes his case that the next set of blood moons upcoming in 2014 and 2015 should give warning that something HUGE is about to happen to Israel and potentially the world.

A few comments that I must make. First, the book has a lot of foundational teaching with that comprising almost 70% of the book. For those that are new to biblical prophecy this a good thing but for someone that has studied it for a few years this was mostly repeat. Second, I was surprised at how much was not discussed about other celestial signs and what happened during those occurrences. I felt that this would have given more validity to the book and encouraged a more thorough look at the night sky and how God uses it.

Lastly, I found that much of the material was repetitive and was not needed. I know this works well for a sermon but for a book it was a bit much. Thus the content was lessened in my opinion as I kept thinking, "you've said this already, get to the point." more than once.Overall it was a decent book with some good information but could have done away with the repetition and more on supporting content.

* I received this copy from Worthy Publishing for my honest review. I was not influenced to write a positive or negative review and the words are my own.*

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Fearless by Eric Blehm

The life of hero Adam Brown is story that is worth telling. From a trouble past to finding Christ, to fighting for his life to fighting for freedom, his story is a challenge to anyone to never give up. Brown fought his demons with courage; he was fearless.

The story of Adam Brown begins in Arkansas with a daredevil, football playing, give-it-your-all attitude man. Brown was a defender of the weak and stood up for what was right. He was a SEAL in the making before he even knew.

Sadly there were forces at work that tried to bring him down; drugs. Brown found this vice and it would haunt him for many years. Injuring his family and friends the drugs would work their maniacal fingers into Brown's person which finally resulted in prison.

Yet, prison is where Brown found his saving grace: Jesus Christ. He started to get his life in order and it was around this time that joining the Navy and eventually the SEALs would be birth.

I found myself glued to this book and being challenged that no matter what, it was worth fighting for what is right. I also was challenged to love my family, to stick beside them, and to be there for them; especially my wife. While this book focuses on one man's military career there are callings to men to rise up and be...fearless.  

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Secrets of Dynamic Communication by Ken Davis

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from for an honest review. I was not persuaded in anyway to give a positive or negative review. The words are my own.*

First, this book is a must for those that are in speaking positions. The simple, yet effective methods taught will allow a speaker to focus a speech to deliver it with power and impact. As a member of Toastmasters International, I found myself taking so many mental notes that I will have to read this book again and again to let it all take root.

That said, there are some basic principles that could help those who are not in a speaking position. Tips such as being specific, word selection, and proper use of humor can benefit almost anyone. As the saying goes, "It is a wise man that use two words when most use three."

However, while some of the book is applicable to everyday situations this book is not designed for those who are struggling with relational communication problems. If you desire that seek another book.

I have heard Mr. Davis speak and have also purchased his SCORRE speaking course on DVD. This book is an excellent resource to compliment that course. If you are speaking in public or have a desire to do so get this book and the DVD course.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Four Blood Moons by John Hagee: Press Release

This looks like a very thought-engaging book. Find out for yourself as I have a few copies to giveaway. Simply comment on this question: do you think that books like this are beneficial or just someone playing an angle to make some money selling books? Comments must be submitted by November 15th, 10pm Eastern time.

­– Research Based on NASA Science, Scripture and Historical Events –
Does God use the sun, moon, and stars to communicate with us? Does He use the heavens as His own personal, high-definition billboard to announce things to come?

According to John Hagee, pastor of Cornerstone Church, New York Times best-selling author and founder of John Hagee Ministries and Christians United for Israel, the answer is yes.

In an astonishing new non-fiction book, Four Blood Moons, (Sept. 10, 2013/Worthy Publishing) Pastor Hagee draws on scripture, NASA science and recorded history in order to explore the significance of astronomical events and to caution believers of a momentous, upcoming lunar event that may directly impact not only the nation of Israel but possibly all of mankind.

Four Blood Moons derives its title from full lunar eclipses, called “blood moons” because only the infrared band of light gets around the Earth, making the moon appear red. In some centuries, there is a very rare series of four consecutive blood moons, called a “tetrad” by astronomists.

According to Pastor Hagee, tetrads have occurred on the Jewish holy days of Passover and Sukkot only three times in the last five hundred years. Incidentally, these same three dates in Israel’s history just happen to be the three most important dates in all of its history, writes Hagee. Four Blood Moons discusses these three incredible historical events in detail:

·      In 1493–94, the four blood moons occurred on the Jewish holidays of Passover and the Feast of Trumpets. According to Hagee, this event signified the beginning of the fall of Spain following expulsion of the Jews (1492) and was God’s announcement to the world that “the mantle of prosperity had thusly been placed on the shoulders of an infant nation that would become the United States” since it became a refuge for the Jewish people.

·      The second appearance of four blood moons appearing on Jewish holy days was 1949–50. They occurred on Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles and coincided with Israel’s being declared a nation.
·      The third occurrence was in 1967–68 when the Six-Day War took place, uniting the city of Jerusalem with Israel for the first time in two thousand years – a monumental prophetic event, writes Hagee.
What’s more, the next four blood moon tetrad, falling on the same Jewish holy days, is set to happen starting in April 2014 – only the fourth time in the last five hundred years. The dates for each upcoming blood moon are as follows:
·       April 15, 2014 - Jewish Passover
·       October 8, 2014 - Feast of Tabernacles
·       April 4, 2015 - Jewish Passover
·       September 28, 2015 - Feast of Tabernacles
After the first two blood moons in this sequence, and before the final two blood moons, will be a solar eclipse on March 20, 2015 (Rosh Hashanah).
What is the prophetic significance of these events?

“Over the last 500 years, these lunar events all falling on holy days were an announcement of a time of tears and tribulation that ended in tremendous national triumph for the Jewish people,” says Hagee. “There are no solar or lunar accidents; every heavenly body is controlled by the unseen hand of God to send signals to humanity of coming events.”

In Four Blood Moons, Pastor Hagee cautions that, while no one knows the mind of God, the anticipation of this lunar event does tell us that God is getting ready to change the course of human history.

John Hagee is the author of four New York Times bestsellers, in addition to Jerusalem Countdown, which sold over one million copies. His most recent book, The Power of the Prophetic Blessing, achieved best-seller status with USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal. He is also the founder and senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, TX, a nondenominational church with more than 20,000 active members, as well as the founder and president of John Hagee Ministries, which telecasts his radio and television teachings throughout America and in 249 nations. Hagee is also the founder and national chairman of Christians United for Israel, a grassroots national association with over one million members.

Worthy Publishing Group ( is a privately held, independent voice in Christian and inspirational publishing, based in Nashville, Tennessee, comprised of three divisions. Worthy Books publishes a boutique list of trade titles across a broad spectrum of genres, including current events, biography, fiction, devotionals, spiritual and personal growth, and specialized Bibles. Ellie Claire is a line of gift and paper expressions, and Freeman-Smith is a value-priced, impulse book imprint. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

I, Saul by Jerry Jenkins

I started reading this book and before I knew it I was a third of the way finished. Wow! The descriptive writing by Jenkins is spot on and his creativity is very evident. While no ones knows for sure all of what happened to Saul (Paul) while he was on earth, Jenkins does a great job of portraying a very believable character.

The combination of current and historical story lines keeps the book moving at a great pace but not so fast that the reader has to turn back pages to remember what is happening. Added to this is the suspenseful beginning which really sets the stage for a great story.

The reader is taken on a journey with Dr. Augustine Knox as he travels to Rome in search for a friend that has been caught in a web of theft, murder, history, and antiquities. This is paralleled with accounts of Dr. Luke and Saul (Paul) roughly two thousand years earlier.

Yet both tales are brought together by the discovery of a magnificent treasure. What kind of find would do that? Read the book and find out.

*This review is my own. I received a complimentary copy from Worthy Publishing in exchange for this review. I was not swayed in any way to give a positive or negative review.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

For Men Only: Revised and Updated by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn

I read the first edition a few years ago as a single man. I really enjoyed in the sight and candid nature of the book then. The information was presented in "guy language" so that I understood better what a woman needs.

Flash forward to today; I am married. Wow! The book is amazing with accuracy. I can't believe how I would ask my wife a question just to confirm if what the book said was true. It was true. It was a shock but I love that I can trust what is being presented with evidence from my wife.

I would highly recommend this as a great conversation starter for married couples, especially newlyweds. Actively working through each chapter can be a great eye opener, especially for men. It can be a great resource to use in building a healthy relationship and marriage. Five stars all the way!

*I received this book via Blogging for Books by Multnomah but the words are my own

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

365 Pocket Prayers by Tyndale House Publishers (edited by Amy Mason)

I found this little prayer book at a local Goodwill. The simple prayers inside, while brief, are very powerful and insightful. As someone who enjoys prayer books (Book of Common Prayer, Larger Catechism, Prayers at Sea, and more) this was a great pickup for me. Another benefit is the topical index in the back which is great for those days where you need a little encouragement.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

 Looking forward to reviewing this book. 

One of the Best-Selling Novelists of All Time JERRY B. JENKINS Releases Riveting New Thriller

“Jenkins is a consummate novelist; his plotting is nicely sneaky, his dialogue crackling.”

—Publishers Weekly

NASHVILLE, Tenn., July 23, 2013—Jerry Jenkins’s novels have sold more than 70 million copies, qualifying him as one of the best-selling novelists of all time. In his new release, I, Saul (Worthy Publishing, Aug. 27, 2013), Jenkins presents his latest masterpiece: a compelling international thriller that catapults readers from present-day Texas to a dank Roman dungeon in A.D. 67, then down the dusty roads of ancient Israel, Asia, and back to Rome.

An adventurous seminary professor, Augustine Knox, is drawn into a deadly race to save priceless parchments from antiquities thieves, and discovers a two-thousand-year-old connection with another who faced death for the sake of the truth. I, Saul consists of two riveting adventures in one as readers are transported between the stories of Augustine Knox and the man who would become the Apostle Paul.

I, Saul will keep readers turning pages as it offers new insight into the fiery early days of Christianity when Saul of Tarsus vowed to put an end to the new sect, whatever the cost. A fast-paced story filled with political intrigue, mystery, and rich historical detail, I, Saul is the thrilling tale of loyal friendships tested by life-or-death quests, set two millennia apart. With this new work, Jenkins again delivers the sort of novel that has made him a household name.

Jenkins artfully depicts biblical times and characters, relying heavily on research and expertise provided by noted pastor and biblical scholar, Dr. James S. MacDonald.


Jerry B. Jenkins’s novels have sold more than 70 million copies, including the phenomenal mega-best-selling Left Behind series. Twenty of his books have reached the New York Times best-seller list, including seven that debuted at number one, as well as the USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal best-seller lists. Jenkins has been featured on the cover of Newsweek magazine. Jerry and his wife, Dianna, live in Colorado.

Worthy Publishing Group ( is a privately held, independent voice in Christian and inspirational publishing, based in Nashville, Tennessee, comprised of three divisions. Worthy Books publishes a boutique list of trade titles across a broad spectrum of genres, including current events, biography, fiction, devotionals, spiritual and personal growth, and specialized Bibles. Ellie Claire is a line of gift and paper expressions, and Freeman-Smith is a value-priced, impulse book imprint.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The One Year Mini for Leaders by Jim Seybert

*I earned this book from Tyndale Rewards ( You should check it out. As a bonus, if you use the link in this post you will get 25 points. Cool!*

This book, while small in size, can have a large impact. Each page has a challenge to remind leaders to improve in areas such as: communication, honesty, innovation, and others. It is an excellent reminder to leaders that they are there to serve and by serving they can grow both personally and as a business.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Open by Craig Gross

*The following is my personal review. I was not influenced in any way in my honest review. For my review I received a complimentary copy of this book from*

Accountability: What is it? Why do we need it? How does one go about with accountability? These questions and more are addressed in Craig Gross' newest book Open: What Happens When You Get Real, Get Honest, and Get Accountable. The book is broken into three sections: Why? What? How? Each section deals with its aforementioned heading.

In the Why? section, Mr. Gross explains, and gives his reasons, for why accountability is desperately needed in the lives of people today. He gives examples for his own life and the lives of his friends on why they came to realize their needed for accountability. He also addresses that accountability need not be for sexual addictions alone. It can be for scheduling concerns, budgeting, smoking, spousal issues, and others. I found this to be a great challenge as I had not given much thought to having accountability on how I spend my money and how booked my calendar may be.

With the foundation laid in Why?, Mr. Gross then proceeds to the What? What is accountability? Mr. Gross discusses that it is not a coffee house chat but a courageous effort to get into the intimate lives of people and hold them to a higher standard. The goal is aid others, and be aided by them, to keep an interference from ruining a life. By willing to open oneself to another there is a located freedom that could be potentially lost by someone going it alone.

The next section How? laid the groundwork of what it could look like to being accountable with others. Suggested questions, locations, and potentials pitfalls are discussed as well as what is needed in the people involved: courageous dedication. Being accountable will not be easy but having dedication married with courage will allow for the maximum benefit.

 This was such a great book that I hope a study guide or DVD curriculum will shortly follow. I say this because I see a desperate need for openness and training people on how to be accountable and keep other accountable is the first step. Such a fabulous book and I would love to see the accountability movement started with it.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Seven Men and the Secret of Their Greatness by Eric Metaxas

Seven Men and the Secret of Their Greatness by Eric Metaxas Wow! This is a fantastic book and I found myself reading and reading. I couldn't put it down. The lives detailed gave such inspiration and devotion that I was empowered to make more of my life. Mr. Metaxas did a great job of relaying stories that were concise but potent. I highly recommend that every teenage boy read this book and then re-read it often. *I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review. The words are my own and I have not been influenced in anyway by the publisher, author, editor, or any staff involved with the production of this book.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Desiring God by John Piper

Desiring God: Revised Edition by Dr. John Piper This is a fantastic book on how the pursuit of God is both righteous and enjoyable. While not easy the rewards of doing such a journey are worth the effort. Dr. Piper does a wonderful job of showing how God is everything and in Him is all happiness and joy. When one finds God, they find all that He is. *I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review. These words are my own and not of any other.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Founders Key by Larry Arnn

What a great book at a needed time. Mr. Arnn does a masterful job of showing how The Constitution and The Declaration of Independence have been separated by the American judicial system. This has caused the laws to be "interpreted" in a manner that the founding fathers did not have in mind. By using historical documents, Arnn shows the thoughts of the men who drafted our country's documents and how their idea of government is all but lost on today's citizen. A great book for those who want to understand our country's history. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from for an honest review of this book."