Book Review: Exploring The Bible – A Bible Reading Plan for Kids

I am always looking for new things to come along to help get the Word of God engrained in the minds of younger believers. This new book Exploring The Bible by David Murray is one that I can see being helpful for lots of families.

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Murray has laid it out in a way that is not intimidating to children. If anything, it gives them just enough guidance without boxing them into a checklist that must be completed. Each week, the learner is focused on a specific portion of Scripture with a short reading each day. They’re then asked one question and allowed to freely answer it however they choose. On Sunday there is a little synopsis, Scripture reference, and some questions to consider and a space to take their own sermon notes from their own church.

I like this approach as it helps to keep children engaged throughout the entire week and allows space for their parents to talk about things on Sunday with them that they may have heard from their pastor or children’s pastor. I imagine the best audience for this is a second through fourth grader. A girl is probably going to like the looks of this more as it is more pale blue and red than anything, but that does not mean that a boy cannot use it.

If you are looking for a way to get your young believer into the word, this would be a good first step. It takes a look at a lot of different Scripture passages without sticking solely to the New Testament.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review. The words above are my own and have not been altered in any way by the author or publisher.

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Book Review: Come Let Us Adore Him

Those that know me in real life know me as one who is always in the mood to throw on some Christmas music and eat some fruitcake. Alright, maybe not quite the second one. However, I am one that is known to be in the holiday spirit all year long. When I saw Paul David Tripp had an Advent devotional coming out, I knew it would be good. What I did not know was how good it would be.

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Yes, I may have started the holiday season early this year, but honestly who is keeping count? Come Let Us Adore Him is another high quality devotional by Tripp. The short, daily devotionals are well-written, easy to understand, and yet draw you back into the mystery of the miracle of Christmas. There is even a nice ribbon to help keep your place as you progress through the season.

To say this is an Advent devotional is not false, but one surprising fact to me was that there are thirty-one days of devotional content. It is geared for the entire month of December. That takes a great thing and makes it even better. The size of this book is almost perfect to not take up too much space, but allows ample room on the hearty pages to take notes without much worry of your thoughts bleeding through.

If you have never taken advantage of an Advent devotional or observed the season of Advent, let this new collection help you. This would be an excellent starting point to seeing the virgin birth in a new light.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review. The words above are my own and have not been influenced in any manner by the author or publisher.

Book Review: Uncomfortable

If you have attended church more than once, you are bound to have had an uncomfortable experience. I say that because you may have skirted by the first time, but if you went a second time, something strange probably happened. As someone that has been around the church for quite some time, I have had my share of odd situations. Thankfully, they have not been enough to scare me away, but they could have been. Uncomfortable by Brett McCracken is a new book that not only addresses this idea, but others as well.

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Uncomfortable is the perfect name for this book for multiple reasons. McCracken is quick to acknowledge that despite how much church leadership can try to avoid these, they will happen. He does not stop there though. He encourages us to push forward in spite of these situations and embrace the uncomfortable nature of the church. One argument for this is that we grow in these awkward places.

Throughout the book McCracken continues to drive home the truth that Christians are too quick to leave a church in our day and age. Rather than sticking through the tough situations, we leave at the drop of the hat for whatever reason. Most of the reasons people leave a church are not ones that should be taken to heart. Instead, they are ones that are typically petty and very mild. Uncomfortable made me just that, uncomfortable, but it is only because I saw how comfortable we try to make the experience of going to church.

If there was ever a timely book to encourage us as inch closer to the new year and new resolutions, it is this one. We should all seek to live our lives a little more uncomfortable this next year.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review. The words written above are my own and have not been influenced in any way by the author or publisher.

Lost Sermons of C.H. Spurgeon Vol 2

When I saw that B&H was releasing these lost sermons of C.H. Spurgeon, I knew that I needed to get a copy. When the first edition was released, I immediately added it to my collection. In it is a multitude of wisdom and a look at the life of one of the greatest preachers to walk this earth. When I saw that they were releasing a second volume, I knew I would have to add it as well.

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The second volume obviously contains different manuscripts and different photos than the first. However, there are a lot of similarities. Each page is laid out in a wonderful fashion and has a nice thickness to it. This collection is easy to follow and is much better than solely having the manuscript and having to read the handwriting. After all, handwriting has changed over the years and that does not even account for an individual’s style.

I am convinced that no matter where you are in your Christian walk, you will find something in this collection to your benefit. If you are a ministry leader, I am sure that you will be able to incorporate it into your future teaching. If you simply like to have impressive books on your bookshelf, this is one of those as well. I would beg you though, do not be that person. Open it up and let the words of an impressive man of God further push you towards the heart of God.

I received this book for free in exchange for an unbiased review. The words here are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

Book Review: Words From The Hill

Stu Garrard is most famous for being a musician and apart of the globally known Delirious? praise and worship band that hit the scene in the 1990s. While that lasted for a couple of decades, Stu G has now decided to venture into the land of writing. I am thankful that he did not decide to solely stick to music. His first book is Words From The Hill.

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This book is all about the most famous sermon of Jesus called The Beatitudes. This is the sermon that includes all the “blessed” people that we often find ourselves in throughout various stages of life. Rather than simply diving into more study of what it means to be meek or to mourn, Garrard seeks to introduce us to people that are living out these words. The people he spotlights in this books are ones that have taken the words of Jesus at their literal meaning and are living out their faith in ways that most of us cannot even imagine.

This book was released at the perfect time as we need to seek to live out our faith instead of simply pondering what the words mean. I have seen too many Christians get bogged down in simply studying what the words of the Bible mean in the original language and how that transfers to a modern society that they fail to actually apply them to life. It is easier to sit in huddles and debate than it is to live them. That is what Stu is trying to combat.

If you have been a fan of Delirious or simply want to take a fresh look at the Sermon on the Mount, I would encourage you to read this book. While you are at it, check out the entire project by Stu including audio and visual elements as well. This is one thought out project that was an impressive feat to pull off.

I received this book for free in exchange for an unbiased review. My words above are my own and have not been influenced in any manner by the publisher or author.

Give A Little Bit

It seems as if most people are more caring the months of November and December. After everyone has managed to come down off the sugar rush of Halloween, the holiday season truly begins. While there are a lot of things to celebrate and even more things to do and/or share, there are those in our community that are not as fortunate.

I pass our local Salvation Army office every morning that I drive to my employer. Since I do not make it there until after 8:00, there is not a morning that goes by that there is not a line waiting for the assistance of the Salvation Army. For a small city and region, this would be hard for many to recognize. Some simply turn their heads and wonder how homelessness and hunger can manage to be in our area. It is there though, if people only look for it. Too often we choose to ignore it.

Speaking of the Salvation Army, they are one of the many charities that I like to support during this Christmas season. They are one of the most well-known and one that is doing a lot of good in our area. I thoroughly believe that lives are being impacted by the work that they are doing. I highly encourage each and every person that reads this post to support them. You can support them directly online by clicking here.

In the spirit of this season and a new movie, I am getting into the giving mood by giving away some things in my stash of goodies. The new movie The Man Who Invented Christmas is coming to theaters on November 22. Make sure to go watch it and let’s give a little. The rest of this post details more about The Man Who Invented Christmas.

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Film Synopsis:

The Man Who Invented Christmas tells the magical journey that led to the creation of Ebenezer Scrooge (Christopher Plummer), Tiny Tim and other classic characters from A Christmas Carol. Directed by Bharat Nalluri (Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day), the film shows how Charles Dickens (Dan Stevens) mixed real life inspirations with his vivid imagination to conjure up unforgettable characters and a timeless tale, forever changing the holiday season into the celebration we know today.

 

She Reads Truth Study Bible Review

The past year or so, my life has taken some turns. I have reviewed books by female authors and here I am reviewing a study Bible geared towards women. This does not mean I have changed much, but rather I think I am trying to find resources to share with ladies I know. It is easy for me to live in a bubble and not know what is happening within the Christian publishing world when it only is released by a man. I am trying to expand my circle of knowledge.

The new She Reads Truth Study Bible is a gem. It is the new CSB translation, but has many good features about it. I can see every woman enjoying its notes, images, and splashes of color. You can tell that this one was thought out when it was arranged. There are so many things that you glance over and then notice after you look at the page again. I have followed the She Reads Truth movement from the fringe and have been more in tune with the He Reads Truth movement for obvious reasons.

If you know a woman looking for a new study Bible, I would highly recommend this one. They offer a few different cover choices and binding options. Most of all, they’re all affordable and worth every penny. I am anxiously awaiting a He Reads Truth version.

I received a copy of the gray linen for free from B&H in exchange for an unbiased review.