Monday, June 08, 2015

"Let me go, let me go, let me go lover, let me go, let me go, let me go!" goes the song.

Turn me loose, let me go needs to be said to many people and things. It's not always lovers that have us in a strong grip.

John Ortberg writes about the possibility of us being in the grip of idolatry and then mentions the idolatry of place. ( His book: All The Places To Go--How Will You Know?)

In a recent Face Book post I wrote about how much I love Arizona and how I believe we should love where we are. But I also see John's point that we can be held captive by the idolatry of place. 

We should never be so in love with place that we cannot be moved---not even by God.

When God opens a door we need to go through it. 

Change is hard, And it's not always easy to know if the voice we hear is God's voice. But we need to listen.

In Genesis God told Abraham to go. Abraham was told to leave home. That could not have been easy. But he went. God "opened a door" and Abraham went though it. From our perspective we can see it was the right thing to do.

We need to walk with God in such a way that when he speaks we recognize His Voice. 

Let's not let any place become an idol that we cannot break the grip of.

Abraham left his home and as a result became a blessing to many.

Called people are Blessed to Bless!


Thursday, June 04, 2015

How Just One Change Can
Make All Of Life Better
By Brant Hansen

OVERVIEW: Isn't taking offense normal? Aren't we supposed to get offended? Isn't anger at sin justifiable? If God gets mad, why can't we? Brant Hansen asks a radical, freeing question: What if Christians were the most unoffendable people on the planet? And he offers a life-changing idea: "righteous anger" is a myth, and giving up our "right" to be offended can be one of the most healthy, simplifying, relaxing, refreshing, stress-relieving, encouraging things we can do. In a winsome, humorous, and conversational style, Hansen helps you release religious burdens and experience the joy of gratitude, perhaps for the first time, every single day of your life.

AUTHOR: BRANT HANSEN is a radio host who has won multiple National Personality of the Year awards. He also works with CURE International, a worldwide network of hospitals that brings life-changing medical care and the good news of God's love to children with treatable conditions. Brant has been a game inventor and a youth pastor, and is still a very poor (his words) accordion player, although he ardently defends his right to play it. Brant currently lives in Northern California with his wife, Carolyn; his son, Justice; and his daughter, Julia. He can be found at and @branthansen on Twitter.

MY REVIEW: Even before I got to the table of contents I was liking this book. In the middle of a blank page I read these words: "To all those who want grace for themselves but struggle to extend it to others. Wait: that's everybody." I turned the page and found this powerful statement by Dallas Willard: "Anger is the most fundamental problem in human life." Wow! This is a good book.

The title of the first chapter states that being unoffendable is a ridiculous idea. Before reading Hansens's book that was exactly what I thought. After reading this splendid book, I changed my mind. However, I have to confess—I still struggle with the thought.

Hansen writes with a humorous, grace filled style. His book is easy to read but what he teaches is tough to accept as truth. But truth it is and by the time you get to the last page you will know it and accept it. This is a book that needed to be written AND READ.

( I received this book from Book Sneeze a division of Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review.)


Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Making A Life Of One's Own
By Kate Bolick

OVERVIEW: SPINSTER is a slyly erudite look at the pleasures and possibilities of remaining single. Using her own experiences as a starting point, journalist and cultural critic Kate Bolick invites us into her carefully considered, passionately lived life, weaving together the past and present to examine why she—along with over 100 million American women, whose ranks keep growing—remain unmarried. Intellectually substantial and deeply personal, Spinster is both an unreservedly inquisitive memoir and a broader cultural exploration that asks us to acknowledge the potential within ourselves to live authentically. Bolick offers us a way back into our own lives—a chance to see those splendid years when we were young and unencumbered, or middle-aged and finally left to our own devices, for what they really are: unbounded and ours to savor.

AUTHOR: KATE BOLICK is a contributing editor to The Atlantic. She was previously the executive editor of Domino magazine. She lives in New York.

MY REVIEW: As a minister for forty-seven years I did a lot of counseling. I counseled with singles, married, divorced, young, old, rich, poor, sexually confused, depressed—you name it. They were all trying to learn how to live authentically. Almost all of them were trying desperately to "measure up"—to please others. I wish I had read Kate Bolick's book back in my counseling days. Her book is not only helpful for singles, it encourages us all to examine the way we live. We all should consider the question Mary Oliver asks and Bolick ends her book with: "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

I didn't enjoy reading about Kate Bolick's sex life but maybe singles will feel they need this information. If so, they will not be disappointed as she is not timid in revealing this part of her life and the five woman she introduces as those who blazed a trail before her. I became a little bored with all the details she went into when telling us how these women lived.

Susan Cain is a bestselling author and one that I admire. However, I think she missed the mark when she said, "Kate Bolick's Spinster will take your breath away." I don't think so! However, I do think you will appreciate this book and Bolick's insistence on an examined life. Singles especially will be interested in the statement Bolick begins her book with: "WHOM TO MARRY, AND WHEN WILL IT HAPPEN—THESE TWO QUESTIONS DEFINE EVERY WOMAN'S EXISTENCE."
And if they do not already know it, she helps them to understand times have changed. You no longer have that question hanging over your head. You do not have to marry at all to live an authentic life.

(I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.)