Jesus Continued by J.D. Greear (Book Review)

Fantastic, Practical Book

If you think reading this book on the Holy Spirit is going to be mostly unhelpful and irrelevant to your Christian life, think again. There is a lot of meat here. This isn’t a book of cute ideas and theories, it’s the real deal. I was struck by how broad a scope of topics the book covered. I think this speaks to the quality of this book – the Holy Spirit should impact all of how we do life, not just a crazy experience once in a blue moon.

The book is very enjoyable, JD is a great author. He comes across as a very likeable, humble guy (with a great sense of humour) who is passionately serving a big God. He is good at saying profound things in a very understandable, to-the-point manner.

My favourite chapter was probably chapter 8, Experiencing the Holy Spirit in the Word of God. While it may sound old hat, there were some great thoughts especially related to discerning God’s will for our lives.

jesuscontI also value JD’s advice to be humble and teachable even when we feel we are being led by the Holy Spirit. “Never claim the authority of God on your words, even if you feel convinced the Holy Spirit might be speaking through you. Prophetic speech in our day never carries the authority or certainty of Scripture, no matter whom it is from. Never.”

I really feel that JD has a very solid, biblical understanding on the Holy Spirit and how He relates to us. If Jesus said that it’s better for us to have the Holy Spirit than Jesus at our side, we should really pay attention. If you want to find out why having the Spirit inside you is so important, read this book.

Highly, highly recommended.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book courtesy of Booklook Bloggers.

5/5 Paper Movement Stars

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Jesus Continued by J.D. Greear (Book Review)

Bible Study for Busy Mamas. Thirty Days in 1 Cor 13 by Pam Forester (Book Review)

Teaches You How to Study for Yourself in a Non Scary Way

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This is a great little book to help you study 1 Cor 13, as well as giving you some tools to apply to further Bible study of other passages . I’d say it’s geared towards women with school-aged children. There are a lot of exercises to do with your children, so if you’re a busy mama with a toddler – you’ll have to skip some of the exercises unless you have an exceptionally advanced little one! It’s still very worthwhile going through, just know that some of the exercises aren’t meant for you to just do alone – although much is.

This book is not a devotional. If you just want to read a book for a few minutes and have your mind blown – you’ll be disappointed. You will have to do some work. She doesn’t just lay everything out. Rather, she sends you digging – leaving you to use other resources and your own mind to learn and grow. That being said, the author is very down-to-earth. This is not an intimidating book. It’s very accessible.

I’d recommend this resource as an especially great way to learn how to study the Bible in solitude without relying strictly on others to spell everything out for you.

5/5 Paper Movement Stars

I received a complimentary review copy of the book courtesy of Bookcrash.com

Bible Study for Busy Mamas. Thirty Days in 1 Cor 13 by Pam Forester (Book Review)

The Spirit Filled Life, by Charles F. Stanley

Great book. It’s not scary. It’s not freaky. It’s not fluff. It’s not weird. It’s practical, down to earth wisdom for broken people who need help. Stanley speaks with humility, and a sense of understanding and familiarity with the wrestle to live a Spirit-filled life. It’s simple and to the point. It’s clear.

So what does Stanley say a Spirit-filled life is?

“The Spirit-filled life is not a formula; it is a relationship, a relationship with a person – the Holy Spirit.”

There are a lot of great quotes in this book that I could put in this review. Simple sentances with big truths. This isn’t a hype-you-up kind of self-help.

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So what was my big takeaway from reading this work? The Spirit-filled life isn’t about me being awesome and earning a relationship with the Holy Spirit. Rather, it’s about me realizing my helplessness and letting God work through me. We only bear fruit. We don’t produce it. Ultimately it’s God’s work through us. It’s called fruit of the Spirit for a reason!

Overall, I’d have to say this is an expremelly solid resource useful for any Christian. There are a lot of bad teachings amongst some Christians about how to harness the Holy Spirit’s power, about what a Spirit-filled life looks like, and other man-centred, and just wacky ideas. Other Christians see this and respond to this problem by avoiding the topic almost altogether.

I like that he stresses that a Spirit-filled life isn’t about a dramatic experience, it’s about a life change. This is no pie-in-the-sky read. Check it out! I think at times the idea of humans having a relationship with the Holy Spirit has been overcomplicated. The Holy Spirit can walk with you and be your friend! You’ll be changed. For the better.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book courtesy of the Booklook book review program.

5/5 Stars

The Spirit Filled Life, by Charles F. Stanley

The Dude’s Guide to Manhood, by Darren Patrick (Book Review)

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Solid Work that Tackles a Lot of Topics

Some quick observations about this book:

  1. It’s written for the average dude. (By average, I mean a man who probably doesn’t read much other than newspapers and magazines.) It’s broken into small chunks. There are lots of titles within the chapters. You feel like you’re getting things done when you read it because you’re constantly moving on to the next topic. It reads quick.

  2. Darren wants non-Christians to read this book too. There is little Christianese in the book. He talks about ordinary stuff. There is little scripture, and for a lot of the book, not much God-talk. There are biblical principles, but Darren does not tie everything to a Bible passage. That being said, Darren closes out the book with an excellent chapter on the ultimate man, Jesus Christ, followed by a chapter on living on the forgiven man. If you just read snippets of this book there is a good chance you will not get the gospel. Read it all the way through and it is there.

3. It’s simple but profound. You will have to slow down and unpack some things on your own to get more out of this book. Since it moves at such a quick pace you might gloss over a profound, significant point simply because of the brevity in how it is said.

Most challenging/useful chapter to me? Chapter 2. Pay Attention and Learn Something: Become a Coachable Man. I was challenged by how much the author gets other men to shape and challenge him. That takes humility.

There is a lot of great stuff in this book. It gets the thumbs up. At times it would’ve been nice to hear Darren go more in depth on things, but the book is titled a “guide”, so I think it lives up to its title.

I also think Darren could’ve done a better job of tying masculinity to Jesus. It is there, but I would have liked to see the gospel more throughout the book and not just at the end. 

I received a complementary review copy of this book courtesy of Booksneeze.com.

 4/5 Paper Movement Stars

 

 

The Dude’s Guide to Manhood, by Darren Patrick (Book Review)

A Lot of Mud Covered

Mud and the Masterpiece (John Burke)
Book Review

This is a really good book that I find hard to know how to review. There is so much ground/mud covered. It’s just a good, solid read for anyone who wants to grow in their walk with Jesus. You’ll learn about Jesus, you’ll learn practical advice on how to live the Christian life. It’s a very thorough book.

You’ll be challenged. You’ll be encouraged. You might be made uncomfortable. You will be shown grace. You’ll be pointed to Jesus.

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The audio version is rare (to me) in the fact that it isn’t nearly flawless like most audiobooks I’ve heard. Not all of the reading hickups are edited out. But that’s perfectly ok to me. It’s not nearly enough to be distracting. I probably noticed less than a dozen mistakes. It is the author reading it, so I appreciate hearing his voice, with his emphasis. It’s a human touch. So, great job on the narration!

I recommend this book, especially for those who like to ready but don’t read much. This book covers so much I think it’ll be well worth your time.

I received a complementary review copy of this audiobook courtesy of http://www.christianaudio.com 

5/5 Paper Movement Stars

 

A Lot of Mud Covered

Joseph and the Gospel of Many Colors by Voddie Baucham Jr.

I loved the idea of this book, but in reality found it less than a joy to read. The language is easy, the logic simple to follow, I just didn’t find Voddie’s writing style overly engaging. There are a few personal stories/illustrations, but the majority of the book Baucham sticks to talking about the Bible. I’m fine with that. Actually, there is a lot of literal Bible within the book, which makes it convenient to study with and to check context.

 

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I support Voddie in his view that the Joseph story is about more than just Joseph, like the entire OT, it is written to point us forward to Jesus. My biggest drawback to this work is not the content but the presentation. It seems to fall somewhere between being a commentary and a book that you can just sit down and read. I have a hard time really milking a book like this for what I’m sure it could be worth. Perhaps the fault is my own.

The book is nicely formatted, broken into small chunks and paragraphs. I know Voddie is a smart man, yet he writes in a way you can understand.

There’s a lot of great stuff written in this book. If you’re able to read information-heavy work and keep your head in it, I’m sure it could be well worth your time. It’s a good book, yet in my eyes, not a great one, hence the 3 stars. It could be a great aid to a study on the book of Genesis. As a standalone book to just pick up and read it might be a struggle for the average layperson such as myself.

I received a complementary review copy of this book courtesy of Crossway Publishing.

3/5 Paper Movement Stars

Joseph and the Gospel of Many Colors by Voddie Baucham Jr.

10 Great Dates – Book Review

Probably Not Worth Reading If You Aren’t Going to Do It

Depending on what you think of as “a date”, this book might leave you mighty disappointed. Basically, by the word ‘date’ they mean “conversations”. Conversations are obviously a very good thing to have on a date, but for those looking for ‘great’ ideas on what to do while conversing this book won’t help you one bit (unless you’ve never thought of taking your spouse out to eat).

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For me, the book could prove helpful since I’m not real good at conversations. However, working through the dates could feel more like an interview than a date, since it means ripping a page out of the book, taking it to your date, and working through the conversations. I haven’t tried any of the dates with my wife yet, but I’d like to.

The book is written quite well and is fairly interesting, but not overly captivating. A minor gripe is what I personally found a little annoying – since the book was written by 2 couples, how the authors always had to explain which of them was writing the personal details.. ie “We (the Arps) did……”, “When we (the Larsons) were first married….”

I think it could be a very useful book for couples who don’t know each other very well and have a hard time opening up with each other, and while it might not seem real valuable for mature Christian couples who know each other very well, there is still very likely some great things that you can learn about yourself and your spouse by working through these dates.

In summary, having gone through the book and not yet having done the dates, I don’t feel like I’ve been rewarded for my efforts. Really, I’d be better off just reading and doing the dates (in the back of the book) than reading through the book with no plan to ever actually go and do it.

Book has been provided courtesy of Bethany House and Graf-Martin Communications Inc.

3/5 Paper Movement Stars

10 Great Dates – Book Review