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 Booksneeze.com. 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 Booksneeze.com 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 Booksneeze.com 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.