Friday, January 31, 2014

Perfect Ending by Robert Jeffress

*I received this complimentary book from Worthy Publishing First Look. The word are my own and I was influenced in any way in the writing of this review.*

I really enjoyed this simple book on Bible Prophecy. The examples and the layout really worked well together to explain some rather difficult theological terms and teachings. The book never assumed that the reader had any knowledge of prophetic teachings which is why this book is great for those who would like to start studying Biblical prophecy.

While I do not hold to all the teachings presented by Dr. Jeffress, he did a wonderful job of explaining why he believes as he does. He also presents some other views that he does not agree with and gives his reasons for why he dismisses those views. Thus, he does a good job of trying to be fair and present more than one view of Biblical prophecy. A very basic book on a very difficult subject but one that could aid many in their personal understanding of prophetic matters.

One thing to note is that this book is heavily weighted toward the Book of Revelation. Those looking for a more broad view of Biblical prophecy would do well find additional books for study. 

Mansfield's Book of Manly Men by Stephen Mansfield

I don't normally address the look of a book but the first thing I noticed about this book was its cover. One is not to judge a book by such but the look of this book gives the appearance of something from time gone past. It made me feel like I was reading a book that a refined gentleman of the later 1800's and early 1900's would entertain.

With that, the content of the book is built around four maxims and then the areas is which those maxims are exercised. The maxims are:

-Manly men do manly things
-Manly men tend their fields
-Manly men build manly men
-Manly men live to the glory of God

From these maxims, Mansfield goes into the second part of the book: how men live out these maxims. Areas such as honor, legacy, friendship, humor, and vision are some of the areas in which men need to exercise the manly maxims.

Mansfield gives examples of men in time gone past as well as the 20th century that lived out these maxims in a particular area. Winston Churchill was used for legacy, Jabez for honor, and Rudyard Kipling for vision are but a few of the examples used. Mansfield used these great men as models to give life to each trait and challenge men to do the same. One thing that constant throughout the book is that real men act. To do otherwise is to reject the four maxims.

I particularly enjoyed the quote at each end of a chapter. Each quote summarized and solidified the preceding content and also inspired the reader to take to heart what was read. While an easy read, it was inspiring nonetheless.

In addition, Mansfield gave suggested resources via quotes, books, and movies that a manly man should use. Hopefully these, paired with the book, will cause men to be what God has created them to be: manly men

*I received this complimentary copy in exchange for my review from*

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Compass Bible, The Voice

*I received this complimentary Bible in exchange for my honest review from Thomas Nelson*

The Compass Bible is an interesting translation in that it seeks to make reading the Bible easier. Unlike most Bibles that read like a story, this Bible reads more like a movie script. For example, if I was in a theater production and was learning my lines my script may look like this:

Me: blah blah blah
Driver: yea yea yea
Me: uh huh
Driver: yep yep yep

This Bible reads like that. It makes it much easier to read as the reader knows who is speaking. By the same token, the notes read more like a director's instruction to set the stage. They are not an interference at all but do well to enhance what is happening.

The translation itself is quite modern but not so modern as to be disrespectful. I found the translation to be very descriptive and vivid which I feel can be lost in some other translations.

Another benefit is that, while the Bible is not light, the typeface ideally set. It is not too small but not so large either. Also, the notes are set apart so it is easy to continue reading the text once the note(s) has/have been read.

As to a study Bible, it does okay. The notes give insight but for those that desire a very deep study, I would not use this Bible as a primary study Bible. It has its moments but does lack some features like cross references and concordance. All in all, a very nice Bible for those that like to read the Bible as a story.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

How God Makes Men by Patrick Morley

Ten stories.
Ten men.
Ten proven principles.

This is how Morley lays out his book: How God Makes Men. By using ten men from the Bible, Morley lays the groundwork for how a Biblical man is made. Morley's assertion is that men have lost sight of what it is to be a man of God. Men have been either feminized or been abandoned and thus have lost what God has called them to be. By going back to Scripture, Morley shows that God is in the active state of raising men. Men that will honor, love, serve, sacrifice, and glorify Him. Yet the question that must be asked is: how does God do that?

Morley lays out ten principles and then gives an example of each from great men of Bible. Abraham is used to show how God strengthens a man's faith. Joseph is used to show how God uses men for a higher purpose. Gideon is used to show how God uses a man's weakness and fear into strength. These are three of the ten examples that Morley uses to introduce how God makes men; His men.

I really enjoyed how a principle has an associated example from Scripture. By doing so, it gave life and practicality to the principle. It was not mere theory but reality. This drove home this fact: God desires to make men. Men have such a powerful influence and role in how God will transform the world.

Yet, many men are simply boys in adult bodies. Morley has seen this disaster and has written this excellent book to hopefully drive men to seek God and be men of His glory. This can be summed up with this challenge:

“There is a God we want, and there is a God who is. They are not the same God. The turning point of our lives is when we stop seeking the God we want and start seeking the God who is.”

This is the heart of How God Makes Men. A great book for every man of God who desires to be how God wishes him to be.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review from Multnomah'sBloggingforBooks program. The words are my own.*

Monday, January 20, 2014

Sex and the Single Christian Girl by Marian Jordan Ellis

*I received this complimentary copy from Bethany House in exchange for this honest review. I was not influenced to write a positive or negative review.*

The first thing that really stuck with me about this book was the honesty. There were no punches pulled, no sugar coating, no trying to sound like a I've-got-it-together. It was a woman reaching out to many girls about what God wants from our sexuality versus what the worlds says it should be.

Mrs. Jordan Ellis was 38 years old when she married. I mention this because some books on purity are written by those who remained chaste before marriage but married by their middle to late twenties. They then write about it from a life point of being married 20 years or more. While these books are greatly beneficial and should be used as resources, having someone like Mrs. Jordan Ellis who is not so far removed from waiting-till-marriage scene adds a level of relevancy that some lack.

What is also an encouragement is that Jordan Ellis was not a virgin on her wedding night. She came to Christ after having bought the lie about sex and free love and the book gives insight into her struggles to maintain purity after her salvation. I really appreciated this as many have become beaten by believing that once virginity is lost, purity no longer matters. Thus they yield believing that nothing is sacred once the sacred has been given. Jordan Ellis gives strong edification to not give into that falsehood but to fight for purity of mind, body, and spirit as a way of life; not a one time event.

As a youth pastor I highly recommend this book for those who disciple young ladies. This book is about purity of body but it is also a book about acceptance by Jesus and to find your longing in him; not a man.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Dangerous by Caleb Bislow

*I received this book via the Bethany House Blogger program. The opinions are my own and I was influenced to write a positive or negative review.*

This is an amazing book about a life surrendered to God and how there is no place where God is not able to protect those who are in His service.

From jungles to inner cities, prisons to tribal warriors, Bislow gives story after story of how God used him to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to dangerous and ignored placed.

Many of these places are considered unapproachable due to the residents, the location, the country, and others. Yet time after time God intervened and used Bislow to enter these "unapproachable" places.

A great read and a must read for all who claim the name of Christ.