ONLY LOVE TODAY

Monday, April 24, 2017

ONLY LOVE TODAY
Reminders to Breathe More,
Stress Less, and Choose Love
By Rachel Macy Stafford

OVERVIEW: Stafford's inspiring words fill this beautiful book of short pieces constructed around the seasons of life. This flexible, non-dated, moment-to-moment resource of encouragement can be picked up whenever you need to find meaning in the meaningless...when your soul is weary...when your heart is heavy...when your connections are weak.

AUTHOR: Rachel Macy Stafford is the New York times bestselling author of Hands Free Mama and Hands Free Life. Rachel provides readers with practical, motivating methods to let go of worldly distractions and live authentic, fulfilling lives. Rachel has been featured in USA Today, Reader's Digest, and on CNN, Good Morning America, and The Today Show. Rachel lives in the South with her husband and two daughters who inspire her daily.

MY REVIEW: When you purchase this book—and I want to encourage you to do so, be sure to read the introduction. After reading it you will be eager to jump into reading the opening page. It begins with, "Today matters more than yesterday. Who you are becoming matters more than who you were." This is good stuff.

Rachel "equips readers to breathe life into what really matters: the ordinary moments in our routine lives and the people in them." I agree with these words from the back of the book: "Only Love Today's life-giving words remind you of the tools you already possess and the insights you already have to guide you back to what matters most. Regardless of what you're experiencing or what season you're in, you'll find wisdom and encouragement to move each day in a positive direction."

The book is divided into four parts: I. Spring: Opening Up...Renewal, New Habits, and Growth; II. Summer: Shining Through...Authenticity, Connection, and Acceptance; III. Fall: Wrapping In...Gratitude, Grace, and Awareness; IV. Winter: Holding On...Hope, Encouragement, and Introspection. There is also a conclusion and an epilogue.

I recommend this book. After reading it you will feel more aligned with your heart so love can move you forward.

( I received this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for a fair and honest review.)

AS KINGFISHERS CATCH FIRE


AS KINGFISHERS CATCH FIRE
A Conversation On The Ways Of God
Formed By The Words Of God
By Eugene H. Peterson

OVERVIEW: As Kingfishers Catch Fire offers a never before published collection of Eugene Peterson's teachings over his twenty-nine years as a pastor. This is one man's compelling quest to discover not only how to be a pastor but how to be a human being. Peterson felt these messages were needed because he discovered a chasm had developed between the way he was preaching from the pulpit and his deepest convictions on what it meant to be a pastor. His strikingly beautiful prose and deeply grounded insights usher us into a new understanding of how to live out the good news of the Word made flesh.

AUTHOR: Eugene H. Peterson, translator of The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language, is professor emeritus of spiritual theology at Regent college, British Columbia, and the author of more than thirty books. he earned his master's degree in Semitic languages from John Hopkins University. He also holds several honorary doctoral degrees. In 1962, Peterson was the founding pastor of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, Maryland, where he served for twenty-nine years before retiring in 1991. He and his wife, Jan, live in Montana.

MY REVIEW: For years I have been reading books written by Eugene H. Peterson. I have appreciated each one of them. As Kingfishers Catch Fire is a collection of his sermons. I haven't read them all yet—but I will. One or two of the ones I have read were outstanding. One or two good. None were bad.

I loved the preface. In the preface Peterson shares the thinking behind these messages. He writes about his relationship with his congregation and tells about bringing these sermons together in one place. Very interesting.

I may be the only one, but I had difficulty understanding the title, As Kingfishers Catch Fire which was taken from The Poems of Gerard Manly Hopkins. He writes that the sonnet gave him metaphors to identify the distinctive heart of pastoral work. Sometimes Peterson's writing is too deep for me to understand.

This is a book of sermons that will educate, uplift and inspire every serious, Christian reader, some that are not so serious—and maybe even some non-Christians. I recommend it.

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

THE WAY OF THE DRAGON OR THE WAY OF THE LAMB

Monday, March 27, 2017

THE WAY OF THE DRAGON
OR THE WAY OF THE LAMB
Searching For Jesus' Path Of Power
In A Church That Has Abandoned It
By Jamin Goggin and Kyle Strobel

OVERVIEW: In The Way of the Dragon or the Way of the Lamb, Goggin and Strobel paint a richly biblical vision of power through weakness. They invite readers to join them on an adventure around the world, seeking out great sages of the faith with uncommon wisdom to offer those traveling the path of Christian life. As readers eavesdrop on the authors’ conversations with people such as J. I. Packer, Dallas Willard, Marva Dawn, John Perkins, Jean Vanier, James Houston, and Eugene Peterson, they begin to piece together the new-old reality of following Jesus today. In the end, The Way of the Dragon or the Way of the Lamb offers a compelling vision of the way of Jesus that will challenge both individual believers and the church as a whole.

AUTHORS: JAMIN GOGGIN serves as a pastor at Mission Hills Church in San Marcos, California. He is the coauthor of Beloved Dust: Drawing Close to God by Discovering the Truth About Yourself. Jamin holds a master's degree in Spiritual Formation and Soul Care. Jamin and his family live in Escondido, California. KYLE STROBEL serves as an assistant professor of spiritual theology and formation at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, and on the preaching team at Redeemer Church, LaMirada, California.He holds a BA in Biblical Studies, master's degrees in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics as well as New Testament Studies, and a PhD in Systematic Theology. He is the author of several books. Kyle and his family live in Fullerton, California.

MY REVIEW: Author, Nish Weiseth calls this "One of the most unique, yet profound books I've read in years. What a monumental book. A must-read." Trusting his judgement, I couldn't wait to read it. I was not disappointed.

One of the things I liked most about the book was the interviews. They interviewed seven spiritual giants: Marva Dawn, J.I. Packer, James Houston, John Perkins, Jean Vanier, Eugene Peterson and Dallas Willard. They listened and then they wrote. Their analysis is sobering and challenging. "This book is a necessary call for the church to seek its power in the Spirit, not in the celebrity culture of a lost world."

This splendid book begins with a brief but powerful introduction: Seeking The Way. Part 1: Discovering The Way is divided into five chapters. Part 2: Embracing The Way also has five chapters. The Conclusion: Living The way, is worth the price of the book.

Author Collin Hansen wrote, "You need this book. I need this book. We all need this book." I agree.

(I received this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for a fair and honest review.) 

EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT GOD

Friday, March 17, 2017


EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT GOD
(But Were Afraid To Ask)
By Eric Metaxas

OVERVIEW: Who doesn't have questions about God? But where in the world can you go to get answers? Eric Metaxas has been there, so he gets it. That's why he's written this shockingly down-to-earth book on the big questions everyone asks (but not always out loud). Totally conversational and sometimes flat-out-hilarious, book asks questions like, "How can a good God create a world that has evil and suffering? Is God anti-sex? What's the real story on miracles? and many more.

AUTHOR: Eric Metaxas is the best-selling author of several books, including Bonhoeffer, Amazing Grace, Miracles, Seven Men, Seven Women and If you Can Keep It. He is the host of The Eric Metaxas Show, a nationally syndicated daily radio program. Metaxas is also the founder and host of Socrates in the City, the acclaimed series of conversations on "life, God, and other small topics."He is a senior fellow and lecturer at large at the King's College in New York City, where he lives with his wife and daughter.

MY REVIEW: Author and Pastor, Timothy Keller says that it is difficult not to gush over this book. I agree. Starting with the first question, "How Can You Prove God's Existence?' to question number 20, "What Makes Conversion Real?'' Metaxas will hold your interest and satisfy your desire to understand things you always wanted to know about God. You may not have been afraid to ask but maybe you didn't know who to ask. Now you know. New York times best-selling author, Eric Metaxas give his answer to twenty difficult questions about God. I think you will be pleased, if not with all, most of his answers.

Editor of Books and Culture, John Wilson said, "Eric Metaxas has written a book about God based on questions that people are actually asking. His answers are pithy, practical, often funny (who says God doesn't have a sense of humor?), and true. This is a splendidly unconventional introduction to the Christian faith." I agree. I also like actor, Kirk Cameron's idea of giving Eric's excellent book to friends and family. I recommend we all do that.

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

NO MORE FAKING FINE

Sunday, February 26, 2017


NO MORE FAKING FINE
Ending The Pretending
By Esther Fleece

OVERVIEW: No More Faking Fine is your permission to lament—to give voice to the hurt, frustration, and disappointment you've kept inside and silenced for too long. Drawing from deep reserves of biblical study and hard-won insight, Esther reveals how to use God's own language to draw closer to him as he leads us through any darkness into His marvelous light. Like Esther, you'll soon find that when one person stops faking fine, it gives permission to everyone else to do the same.

AUTHOR: Esther Fleece is an international speaker and writer on millennials and faith, leadership and family, recognized among Christianity's Today's "Top 50 Women Shaping the Church and Culture" and CNN's "Five Women in Religion to Watch." As founder and CEO of L&L Consulting she works to connect influential individuals and organizations to their mutual benefit. You can follow Esther's global adventures on Twitter @EstherFleece and at www.estherfleeced.com.

MY REVIEW: If you like many, are on a grieving or healing journey—this is a book for you! You will be inspired by Esther's story and encouraged to realize that your lamenting that leads to healing is not just for you but for God's glory. This book will encourage you to stop faking fine and start being real.

I agree with pastor Andy Stanley, "How we grieve is directly related to how we heal. Esther Fleece introduces the language of lament and argues persuasively that this is a prayer God never ignores. No More Faking Fine is a book for anyone wrestling with the unavoidable tension created when the faithful suffer." Esther uses Scripture to show that God meets us in the midst of our deepest pain. Her powerful story encourages us to be honest to God and each other. No. We are not always fine. And we need to stop pretending. It takes courage. The book can give you that courage.

Author Allison Trowbridge says what I feel in a beautiful way, "...This book is your permission. To hurt, to cry, to scream, to grieve, to feel. And on the other side of that lament is a journey more beautiful—and a God more near—than you could have ever imagined."

(I received this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for a fair and honest review.)

THE HUM OF ANGELS

Saturday, February 25, 2017


THE HUM OF ANGELS
Listening for the Messengers
of God Around Us
By Scot McKnight

OVERVIEW: The majority of earth's inhabitants believe in angels. Yet many of us cannot claim to have seen one. Why? Perhaps it's because in order to encounter one, we first have to learn what to look for and how to look! We live in a world where the natural and supernatural overlap. Angels are constantly on mission from God and constantly at work in this world. From the Garden of Eden to the book of Revelation, Scripture is filled with hundreds of references to these wondrous creatures. In this creative work, Scot McKnight explores what the Bible says—and doesn't say—about these majestic beings. (From the back of the book).

AUTHOR: Scott McKnight is the author of more than fifty books, including The Jesus Creed and The Heaven Promise. A popular speaker at events such as Catalyst and Q Conference. Scot is professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. His blog Jesus Creed, has 3 million page views annually. He and his wife, Kris, live in the Chicago suburbs.

MY REVIEW: If you, like me, have thought about angels for a long time—this is a book you will want to read. I have several books about angels and this is one of the best. I found it easier to understand than some of the others I have read. Recently I read Jack Graham's book about angels and it is excellent also. Scot McKnight is a splendid theologian but he doesn't get bogged down in deep, hard to understand religious thoughts. He writes in a way that is easier for the average person to understand.

Scot McKnight makes the claim, "If you believe in God, you also believe in angels." That's good. That's very good. He goes on to say, "This is not a philosophical book about angels, or is it an attempt to prove the reality of angels. I'm thankful the philosophers and apologists have set forth persuasive arguments in favor of angels and so have cleared the way for me to talk about what the Bible says about angels." And that is what he does. He talks about what the Bible says about angels. And that is the main thing I like about this book.

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

THE i FACTOR

Saturday, January 21, 2017


THE i FACTOR
How Building A Great Relationship
With Yourself Is The Key To A 
Happy, Successful Life
By Van Moody

OVERVIEW: Weaving together personal stories, practical principles, and profound biblical truth, The i-Factor provides the key to achieving the life of greatness that you are destined for.

AUTHOR: VAN MOODY serves as pastor of the Worship Center in Birmingham, Alabama. In addition, he is on the board of Joel Osteen's Champions Network, is a member of Dr. Oz's Core Team, and is an associate trainer in Japan for Dr. John Maxell's EQUIP leadership organization. Moody, his wife, Ty, and their children live in Birmingham, Alabama.

MY REVIEW: The i-Factor is one of the best books I have read in a long time and I read and review many books. Van Moody writes in an interesting, inspiring way but I think the thing I liked most about the book is that it is packed full of wonderful stories. I would read one and think, "Wow." And then almost immediately I was reading another great uplifting story.

Dr. Levy H. Knox said, "A magnificent book! Apply its timely principles for personal and spiritual success. Your life will change." I agree. It is a magnificent book. I don't know if your life will change. But I think it should. Dr. Nicole LaBeach wrote, "A gift that needs no ribbon, just a reader who's ready to make the shift of a lifetime!"

This book is a guide for understanding yourself and Moody points out over and over again that we must understand ourselves if we are going to live our best life. It is a practical tool for helping us to live life the way God intended.

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


PEOPLE OF THE SECOND CHANCE


PEOPLE OF THE SECOND CHANCE
A Guide to Bringing Life-Saving Love to the World
By Mike Foster

OVERVIEW: This book will show you how your imperfect life matters in ways you never thought possible. It will help you see your scars, flaws, and failures as unfair advantages and gifts that you can bring to the world. It is packed full of unfiltered honesty and simple next steps, this book will help you discover beauty in the brokenness.

AUTHOR: MIKE FOSTER is the chief chance officer at People of the Second Chance. He has dedicated his life to helping people relaunch their lives with a sense of hope and purpose. He's been featured on Good Morning America, The 700 club and in the New York Times.

MY REVIEW: I agree with Jud Wilhite, senior pastor of Central Christian Church in Las Vegas. He said, "Five Stars! This is fierce and compassionate truth telling at its finest. People of the Second Chance is an incredible road map for fully experiencing the grace of God in a whole new way." If he is right, and I think he is. then many need to run out and buy this book because we need to experience the grace of God in a whole new way.

Mike Foster has a passion for helping us live as God's beloved. His book is a message of grace that needs to be read by all. I love the way Bob Goff describes this book: "This is a book for messed-up overcomers, for religious rebels, for the broken but resilient. It's not about taking a knee in the end zone when you win; it's about taking both when you don't."

The book is filled with true stories and great illustrations. It's a page-turner. You will find it hard to put down. Mike will help you realize you are sincerely loved by God and that your life has real meaning.

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