Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wrecked by Jeff Goins

Are you comfortable? If you have traveled on a plane at some point a flight attendant may ask this question. Why? Why is being comfortable so important?

In his book Wrecked, Jeff Goins shares stories of how his life was altered--wrecked--by the world around him. Seeing other people suffering, hurting, needy, and desperate caused him to reflect on his own life, his worldview, and his calling.

This was not an easy book to read as it challenged me to live outside myself and not become self-absorbed. I was spurred to live for more than just me and make a difference in the lives of others. I was wrecked reading this book and I am sure others will as well.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for my honest review. 

NKJV Study Bible, Paperback

*I received a complimentary copy of this Bible from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

When I saw that I had the opportunity to review this Bible I jumped at the chance. Having a copy of the hardback, I wanted to see how the paperback fared.

First, the colors are magnificent. They are vibrant, detailed, and not grainy at all. I found myself starring at them a lot. However, they were not so distracting that I lost my place while reading.

Another positive is the location of the notes. They are at the bottom which allows the text to flow with minimal interruption. The same goes for the word study notes which are mostly at the bottom as well. Both the text and study notes were in a great font type. This allowed for reading without straining.

What did surprise me as another positive was the introduction to each book. It really helps setup a great read for the upcoming texts and places the proper mindset into the reader.

The only drawback that I can see is the weight. This is a heavy study Bible, especially for a paperback. This should not pose a problem for study on a table or a desk. It will probably pose a problem for handheld reading.

Thus, I give this Bible a 4.5 star rating and suggest that if you are looking for a new study Bible and favor the New King James Version consider this Bible as a great option.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

What Successful People Know About Leadership by John C. Maxwell

I am a big fan of leadership. I believe everybody can learn and grow from having good leadership resources in their library. One such resource is: What Successful People Know About Leadership by John Maxwell. I am an avid fan of John Maxwell's books, videos, and live teachings.

This little book is a condensed version of Good Leaders Ask Great Questions. One of the reasons why I appreciate this book versus the larger book is that because it is distilled, it is easier to soak in the information. Of particular the chapter that spoke to me the most is chapter number 5: How to Succeed Working Under Poor Leadership. I'm not saying that I'm under poor leadership. However, I do know that there are times that every leader has flaws and the information in this chapter gives great advice on how address the flaws of any leader with character and integrity.

I also appreciate chapter number seven: How to Develop leaders. This is a great chapter for anybody who is looking to develop their leadership abilities and skills.

I highly recommend that you get this little book for the graduate in your life who was looking to go into college or maybe even graduate school. It will be a great investment and it'll be something that I believe will be used more than once by anybody who has it. 

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Born for This by Chris Guillebeau

Born for This Book

What were you meant to do?

Growing up, people have dreams of becoming something. Firefighters, teachers, dancers, athletes, business owners, etc. are just a few of the careers people have expressed over their lives of what they want to be when they grow up.

Yet, what if they are not meant to do those things?

In his book, Born for This, Chris Guillebeau instructs the reader that he/she may not know what they are meant to do and that is okay. In fact, it can be a great time if it is leverage right. By learning different skills, these "non-dream" jobs can develop a person so that when the "dream job" arrives he/she is prepared for it.

I really enjoyed this book and found its content to be inspiring and insightful. I am curious now to read Guillebeau's book $100 Startup and may have to get a copy soon.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Crown Business in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

NKJV, The Chronological Study Bible

My of the time when I read a yearly Bible it goes through the books as they are placed in the Bible. This Bible is different. Instead of reading books, this Bible organizes passage by date. By doing this the reader has a more as-they-would-have-happened approach. That being said, here is my review of this Bible.

What I Liked

This Bible has a lot of nice aids. The one that I appreciated the most was the time capsule notes. Each note gave a brief timeline of what was happening during that time and allows the reader to have a better understanding of chronological events.

There are also great maps in the back and a read the Bible in a year schedule. The binding is solid and the Bible can lay flat for ease of note-taking. The typeface is also ideal for reading and not too small.

As to what I did not like: nothing. This is a great Bible for those who want to read the events of Scripture in a timeline format and want a Bible that will last a long time to do such.

*I received a complimentary copy of this Bible from Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Guys Slimline Bible NLT, TuTone

I really enjoy reviewing Bibles. Seeing as how it is the most important book on the planet, I really want people to find a Bible that fits their needs. That said, let me give my thoughts on the Guys Slimline Bible by Tyndale.

What I Liked

The Bible is a nice size that is easy to transport but does not sacrifice typeface for a lighter weight. It also takes a minimal approach to aids. They are a few maps in the back and a decent dictionary. It also has a nice feel to it and it easy to leave open for writing notes while reading.

What I Did Not Like

Because I was written for guys I was really hoping for a page or two of topics relevant for guys. I feel this would have been a nice add for a Bible targeted to a specific demographic.

All said, this is a nice Bible for those that just want to read without being distracted by maps and notes.

*I received this Bible in exchange for my honest review from Tyndale

Thursday, April 14, 2016

A.D. 33 by Ted Dekker


First, let me state that I am a HUGE Ted Dekker reader. If Dekker wrote it, I want to read it. This was no exception when given the opportunity to review his latest book A.D. 33.

From the very first page I was captured by the story of Maviah, the Bedouin queen. Her desire to follow the teachings of Yeshua but also not abandon her heritage and people was a powerful struggle throughout. Such drama was riveting and had my attention on every page.

Take a journey with Dekker and Maviah in the ancient Middle East in this thriller of a story. You may just come away changed.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Hachette Book Group in exchange for my honest review.

Rooted by Banning Liebscher

Roots are the source of life for all plants. The roots spread through the earth for nutrients on which to survive. The stronger the roots, the stronger the plant. Remove the roots and the plant will die. Such is a great metaphor for those being rooted in God and Jesus Christ.

In his book Rooted, Liebscher gives three soils where God may plant a person for growth. Those three are:

1. Intimacy
2. Serving
3. Community

These three are requirements for the full development of anyone whom God chooses to develop and a man/woman must understand this so as to not fight back where God's plants them.

I found this book to be a great encouragement  in this phase of my life, with special attention to the first soil: intimacy. This section really focused my thoughts on finding God as He calls to me and how to develop intimacy with him.I recommend this book to just about any Christian who may feel uprooted from God and purpose and suggest they take time to allow the words of this book to penetrate deep.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Multnomah is exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

NIV, Life Connect Study Bible by Wayne Cordeiro

Most Bibles that I have come across that mentioned growing deeper usually have a devotional element to them. While this can be a good attribute, I find that some of the thinking has been done already for the reader. This can take away from the available riches that may be deeper if the reader were only to dig further.

The NIV Life Connect Study Bible is a bit different.

This Bible has sections where the reader can write down what impacted him/her. By doing this, the depth of understanding is enhanced as the reader is given the option to reflect and meditate. In my opinion, this is how someone grows deeper in their spiritual life.

However, this Bible is not an ideal devotional Bible as its weight is a bit heavy. If a reader would like a more easily transportable Bible for devotional reading, look elsewhere. Also, the sections for writing are not on every page and have more of a summary affect as they are placed at the back of books or in strategic locations.

That said, this Bible may be a great resource for those who have time to meditate on what they read but do not wish to carry another book like a journal or notepad. I prefer a journal or notepad which makes this Bible unattractive for my devotional reading. The choice, as always, is up to you.

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

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Man, Myth, Messiah by Rice Broocks

For those familiar with God’s Not Dead, a new book by Rice Broocks titled Man, Myth, Messiah goes into the historical foundation for belief in Jesus. In this book, Broocks details how many non-Christians agree that Jesus existed and that he had a following. While not adhering to the teachings of the New Testament, these secular historians agree that to deny the existence of Jesus is academic fallacy.

Using this as his foundation, Broocks then goes into more of the historical Jesus by observing his teachings and miracles. Broocks proves that Jesus is who He says He is. He leaves the reader with the option: accept Him or reject Him.

I found this book to aid me in my personal understanding of Jesus. I enjoyed the section of dispelling the correlations between Jesus and other “gods” of other religions. I often heard that Jesus is just one story of many that use the same narrative to propagate their teachings. Broocks shows that this is false and that Jesus is the only one who is God. 

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Last Days According to Jesus by Dr. R.C. Sproul

The last days according to Jesus by Dr. R.C. Sproul is a book that I have read in the past. However I wanted to go over it again to give myself a fresh perspective on what Dr. Sproul has taught.

One thing that is definitely prevalent is that this teaching shays away from a popular teaching, set out by the Left Behind series, call the pre-tribulation rapture. Dr. Sproul teaches that most if not all of what has occurred in Revelation as well as some other texts was fulfilled in AD 70. This is known as preterism and it is a popular teaching particularly among some very reformed and also some very Calvinistic teachers.

While I disagree, because I'm a millennialist, this is a very good book in terms of making sure that the individual reader does not simply glance over the material presented because of predetermined biases but at least looks at, and hopefully learns something, with the information provided therein.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review from Baker Books


This little book has prayers that are arranged by subject for various topics in a particular person's life. For example one of the prayers the book contains is regarding dieting and what they post there are several scriptures related to the proper care of a human body. By doing this the individual reader can go to various subjects and find a prayer or some information about that subject that comes from Scripture.

I must admit that I found this particular book very helpful in some areas however I also feel that well that is good information it is very brief. While I enjoy prayer books and devotional books I would definitely recommend that the reader of this particular book use this as a map but not necessarily as a personal guide.

*I received this book in exchange for my honest review from Tyndale Blog Network

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Jesus Speaks by Steven K. Scott

When I started to read this devotional I was not sure how I would enjoy the paraphrase of various Scriptures for each day. Scott take a passage from Scripture (which he also discusses in his book The Greatest Words Ever Spoken) and then paraphrases to add a personal flavor.

I found these paraphrases to be quite encouraging. They were not over the top but succinct and organic. There are times that I forget God is my Heavenly Father and these paraphrases remind me of fatherly wisdom that is needed often in life.

Is this the best devotional I have read? No. However, it may be the most father-like. In this respect, it is worthy of reading.

*I received this devotional in exchange for my honest review from Multnomah Publishing.

Monday, February 29, 2016

NKJV: Apply the Word Study Bible

The apply the Word Study Bible put out by Thomas Nelson is a new Bible with the understanding for readers to help develop an intimate understanding of God's Word, the Bible message, and that the application of what they read to their daily lives. I found this Bible to be very well laid out and the notes the maps and the helps are in ideal locations that did not distract the reader for the main text. One other thing that is very nice is that this particular Bible has a guarantee for life so that if there's any problem with the Bible whatsoever it can be returned.

As for some of the negatives of the Bible, it is a little heavy so it's not very conducive for an individual who wants to do a devotional reading or take it with them on a trip. Also one thing that I've noticed is that while there are a lot of good helps they are geared more towards  application and I have seem to see very little in terms of actual study. I prefer more study notes that dig into the meaning of words and some history that is behind what is happening. Having said that, when they set out to develop an application based Bible this Bible does the job.

This is definitely a good Bible for somebody who is new to Christianity who would like to understand the Bible better and how it is applicable to them but doesn't want some of the theological notes that a more robust study Bible would have in it. 

*I received a complimentary copy of this Bible from Thomas Nelson in exchange for this honest review.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

End Times Secrets of the Mahdi by Dr. Michael Youssef

This is a fascinating book on the book of Revelation in the Bible and the Antichrist also known as the beast in the Book of Revelation. What Dr Youssef has done is relate the eschatological understanding of Islam and compare that to what is written about the Antichrist in the Book of Revelation.

It is an amazing read to see the correlations between the two individuals that being the Antichrist and was known as the Mahdi in Islamic eschatological teachings. However, the book didn't really go out much into this as it was displaying Dr. Youssef’s understanding of Revelation and what is called the End Times. There was probably a chapter or two on the correlation between Islam and the Antichrist and I I was hoping for more. Having said that, I must admit it was a great read and is something that will open the eyes of I believe many Christians in the United States today.

I would highly recommend that those getting this book also look at some information by Perry Stone called Unleashing The Beast. It is a book of his that he has updated once and it is a quite fascinating read on the correlation between Islam and the Antichrist. Both of these books and give a reader a very good understanding of how Islam could potentially play a major role at the end of time. 

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Worthy Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Proverbs Prayers by John Mason

Many have suggested that because Proverbs has 31 chapters that it is a great devotional to read daily; one Proverb per day. That is a great options.

John Mason has taken it one stop farther and built prayers around each of the 31 Proverbs. I found this to be a great way to meditate on the Word of God and would suggest that those reading the daily Proverb get a copy of this book and pray along with each reading.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Books in exchange for my honest review.

God's Smuggler by Brother Andrew

A man who had a desire to God's Word spread thoroughout Europe.

This is the story of Brother Andrew. A Dutchman who came to know God and wanted others to come to know Him as well.

This story tells of trials and struggles, joys and elation, and above all God showing Himself mightily.

I was quite surpoirsed and how reading this book I saw parts of my own life in it. Desiring to serve God but being hampered by many obstacles, Brother Andrew placed his life in God's ahnds and let God control the outcome. Many would do well to follow this lifestyle.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Chose Books in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Reframe by Brian Hardin

What if we viewed things from the perspective that we need God? Like air, water, food, and sleep, we need God to survive. Being made in His image, we have to seek Him in order to truly find us. I must admit that such a thought has become more and more pressing in my life. Enter the book Reframe by Brian Hardin.

Hardin sets forth to point out that we need God; desperately. Until such desperation happens we will feel empyt and void. In his book, he points out three areas in which our thinking has to be changed in order to be made whole in God.

First, we have to rethink in three areas: us, the box (how we limit God, and finally God himself. Rethinking must take place because without it we will continue to operate counter to what God has planned for us.

Second, we have to reframe in the areas of starvation and nourishment. What Hardin means by this is we deprive ourselves from God and starve our souls from Him. We must have God. This should lead to nourishment: finding fulfillment in God alone. By finding soul-satisfying life in God we feed the starvation we so longingly crave. To be nourished, Hardin says this:

-Reframe your spiritual life: everything is spiritual
-Reframe the Bible: it is a friend; not a bully
-Reframe your prayer life: life is prayer
-Reframe God: He is not aloof and distant. He has done everything you allow Him to do in order to be with you.

Finally, restart and do this by changing everything. Change must happen and it starts with changing how God is viewed. From this vantage point, everything else begins to change and come inline with God's plan. That is the message of this book and it is a message that must be shared.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

H3 Leadership by Brad Lomenick

Being a leader is not easy. Ask one who is a leader and it will be made evident that leadership is difficult and arduous.

However, it can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience when it is properly understood. Brad Lomenick has written a book to aid a leader in such an endeavor.

He does this by dividing leadership into three categories: humble, hungry, and hustle. Each of these three sections deals with issues leaders may face in their growth and development.

I really found the Hungry section engaging. A leader must be in constant state of learning and growing to not only be a better leader but to train leaders who will follow them. This spills over into areas of risk and vision.

By staying hungry, a leader will not be satisfied with the present but will try to become better in all areas. This means taking risks to grow and modifying their vision as life circumstances change and culture changes as well.

This is a great resource for a leader in any area of life and should be reviewed multiple times for encouragement and self-reflection.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

NIV Bible for Men

Men are not born.

I can imagine what thought may have entered your mind: all men are born because all people are born. It is true that people are born and some are born male. However, being born male and growing up does not automatically bestow the right of manhood on someone.

Becoming a man takes perseverance, love, community, and God. It is this last part where I want to focus. How does God enter the life of a boy who desires to become a man; a godly man.

In the NIV Bible for Men, many men weigh in on matters that may affect the life of a male. From relationships, to work, to developing character, to living for God, all of these qualities take time and effort.

The men who were asked to right on various topics for this Bible, understand the importance of doing things God's way; the wise way.

This Bible places the Word of God and helpful thoughts by men who practice and make God's Word the guiding force in their lives. I found articles to be well written and relevant.

The Bible itself if a bit heavy but the articles are worth the weight. I will say that having the articles interspersed within the books of the Bible did get annoying. I would have preferred that the articles be at the end of a book or the end of the Bible. That said, this is not a bad Bible for males in your life and could be useful to spur them onto manhood.

*I received a complimentary copy of this Bible from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Imitation of Christ: Classic Devotions in Today's Language, edited by James N. Watkins

I have enjoyed reading the Imitation of Christ for some time. The small, but potent, devotions in this book have challenged me to know Christ more.

However, the older English can be a bit tough to comprehend. While I enjoy the older English in such cases it would be nice to be able to read a copy of The Imitation of Christ without having to consult a dictionary.

James N. Watkins has produced an updated version of this long-time classic for today's reader. He has also arrange the readings by subject rather than the days commonly used in previous printings.

By doing this, Watkins has enhanced the devotional aspect of Kempis' work while not losing the depth of this work. While I still suggest that reader get a copy of the older style I would encourage them to also get this copy of this work for those times when you want to read uninterrupted.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Worthy Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

What We Believe by Dr. R. C. Sproul

The Apostle's Creed has long been a source of understanding what was taught in Christianity from the beginning. It is a powerful document in understanding the beliefs that are vital to Christianity.

In his book, What We Believe, Dr. Sproul breaks down each of the statements given in the creed and explains from Scripture the reasoning behind each statement. By so doing, the reader will see the foundation for each statement and come to know that each statement was not taken lightly when the creed was compiled.

The Apostle's Creed is a wonderful doctrinal statement and to be given the reasoning behind it is a wonderful joy to experience. 

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Baker Books in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Grit to Great by Linda Kapaln Thaler & Robin Koval


It is not a word that is heard often when it comes to success. Words like talent, luck, opportunity, and others are more frequently used but seldom has the word grit been used when defining success.

In their book, Grit to Great, Thaler and Koval show how having grit, that determination factor, is what separates the good from the great.

By staying determined, one can achieve success where others fail. When the going gets tough, the gritty get tougher. It is this attitude that can propel one to greatness. It is this attitude that divides those who yield and those who yearn.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Crown Business in exchange for my honest review.