Book Review: Being A Christian

I will be the first to admit, I have heard more about Jason Allen more than I have heard or read from him. I am glad that he took the time to write Being A Christian. This is a timely read for every person who follows Jesus. There is more to being a Christian than simply praying a prayer.


People can be quick to check a box on a form somewhere identifying as a Christian, but they rarely give full thought to what it means. We ought to be about more than checking a box, but we may not know where to go or to live a life. Thankfully, Jason takes the time to give us ten short chapters that show just how deep our walk with Jesus should go. These chapters are ten parts of our life that ought to look different because Jesus is in them.

Instead of simply looking for Jesus to change our eternal destination, we should see how he changes all of our life from our vocation to our family to our past. Jesus exists through it all and works through everything. We are to not only see him moving in our midst, but also to continue to seek after him so that we may become more like him.

Being A Christian would be a great book for anyone. It is short enough that you can read the entire thing one Saturday morning. However, it is deep enough that you can read it multiple times and see it differently every way. It would be the perfect book to offer a new Christian as it outlines basic truths that are applicable to everyday life. It would be the perfect book to offer someone who has followed Christ for a decade. It is that important.

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.


Television Documentary – POPE: The Most Powerful Man in History

Let me preface this entire post by saying, I am not Catholic. In fact, I have plenty of qualms with their theology. This does not mean that I do not understand their role in human history. Despite my qualms, they are a vital player in the faith community and must be recognized for their influence.

cnn the pope

POPE: The Most Powerful Man in History explores the truth about the one world leader who is neither politician nor general – but commands the attention of both. For more than 2000 years, the head of the Roman Catholic Church has wielded unimaginable influence – shaping the world and our daily lives in surprising ways. Now, combining never-before-seen footage, exclusive interviews, and dramatic recreations, this upcoming six-part television series focuses on the men who have held this unique and complicated position, and reveals the unexpected true stories from the Vatican’s past. The series also delves into the important historical moments that forever changed the Catholic Church – from the foundations of the Reformation to the origins of a new religious order within Catholicism – the Jesuits. The series premieres on Sunday, March 11 on CNN.

As part of the new series, you can win a trip to Rome. All you need to do is visit to register.  The contest runs from March 8 thru April 15th. The trip includes:

  • Airfare and five nights of hotel accommodations for two in Rome.
  • A $500 gift card.
  • A rare and private tour of The Vatican.  

It seems like a great trip and one that I would not mind to embark on with you, if you win (hint, hint, wink, wink).

Series Trailer:



Review: CSB Christ Chronological

CSB Christ Chronological is a new resource by B&H Publishing. While I could spend lots of time talking about how much I have enjoyed this product, I figure a summation is better suited. This product takes all four Gospels and puts them side by side with the other Gospels in a chronological fashion. If that is clear as mud, keep reading.


In essence you wind up may wind up with all four Gospels side by side by side by side or only three. There are instances where an account of Jesus’ life is only recorded in one Gospel. In those situations you only see the one Gospel, but then as soon as there is a change in the time, then you get the next event with however many accounts there are. I promise it is a lot easier to understand when you see it.

There is an occasional bit of background story and supplemental notes before various passages of Scripture, but not a ton. This is not a good resource if you are looking to study Jesus’ life in depth; however, it is definitely valuable if you want to read about his life in a chronological fashion without having to flip back and forth between Gospel accounts. This would be an excellent resource in anyone’s personal collection. It is a little larger in size than most books, but it is not overwhelming.

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

Book Review: God of Tomorrow

I have friends who are big fans of Caleb Kaltenbach and so I have been introduced to his story. While I have not read his first book, Messy Grace, I have heard great things about it. I jumped on the opportunity to read his newest release titled God of Tomorrow. I have to say, it did not disappoint.


All too often Christians are seen as judgmental and backwards due to the desire to either maintain the current culture or even turn back time. I have discovered that is not a viable option for Christians. We are to speak to the culture, but understand that it moves regardless of if we want it to or not. I like to think Kaltenbach holds a similar view.

God of Tomorrow is about learning how to live a life modeled after Christ in a culture that is bent on having nothing to do with these views. I am grateful for the way he articulates that we should not give up the ethics of Christianity even if they do seem outdated by culture. He speaks to the point that we cannot be a jerk to those around us that have differing views.  Could I do a better job at this? Absolutely. I am not where I need to be.

Throughout the book Kaltenbach calls us to offer hope for tomorrow to those around us. If we have hope to endure the fears of today we should be quick to offer the same hope to those around us. We cannot do that if we simply cry foul and spew hate out of our lives. We must live differently.

I am thankful that this book has been written at this precise time. It seems like Christians are being forced from the public square for holding differing views of life and Caleb does not want us to go quietly, but he also does not want us to harm those around us. Instead, we must draw closer to Jesus to become more like him to resonate with hope.

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 way by the author or publisher outside of the written manuscript of the book.


Forever My Girl

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I am old. At least, I feel like I am old when it comes to the idea of courtship in this modern culture. To give a fair assessment, I am only thirty-one; however, I have been with Leighann (my wife of eight years) for nearly fourteen of those thirty-one. To say that I am out of touch with the dating scene would be an understatement, but I do think I have some wisdom to share. In fact, I am going to take a few minutes and do just that. So, sit back and listen to me ramble from my proverbial rocker.

Social media has made a courtship (or dating if you prefer the term) relationship much more complex than it ought to be. The relationship I have with Leighann has a foundation laid before the rise of social media and has managed to thrive through it all. I still remember chatting with her on my dial-up internet during the days of MSN Messenger (I am not going to be offended if you have to Google that). In fact, I had a Facebook account before she did as I was able to establish one when it was opened to my college in my freshman year. Yes, I am one of the ones that still remember it as “The Facebook” and when it was actually practical and allowed you to see other classmates so you could connect for actual educational purposes. There is one takeaway I cannot stress enough when it comes to navigating the courting waters in the days of constant social media:

Establish Boundaries

That’s it. Establish boundaries prior to accepting someone’s friend request. Establish boundaries for what is acceptable for your significant other to tag you in on their feed. (Do you really need another animated, glittering rose to express your undying love for someone you started dating earlier this week?) Establish boundaries of how much of your story you will share on social media.

There will be times that you do not need to share how this person has made you feel because, honestly, it stinks right now. There are things that are better communicated outside of your last Facebook post where your entire friends list can read your life like a newspaper. There are hilarious photos that do not need to be uploaded and your significant other tagged in! (I learned that the hard way with a photo of Leighann stuffing a muffin in her mouth in a hotel room in Manhattan before we were to head out for the day. I did not do myself any favors by adding the caption “Doing what she does best.” Yes, it stayed up for all of fifteen minutes before I was required to take it down. What was done in jest turned into a life lesson that I will never repeat.)

If you are going to be in a relationship (any at this point, but dating specifically) you need to establish boundaries on social media. It is a good habit to start and you may as well start early. In some ways, the cultivating of true, deep relationships can be missed by constantly focusing on social media. Instead of enjoying the presence of the other we can be consumed with making sure we take the right photos to make our dessert on date look great. We can lose site of the fact that relationships change and people change by trying to groom the other into becoming a picturesque version of the thing we saw on our favorite sitcom last week. We must fight against the desire to overshare and over glamorize our lives. We do this by establishing boundaries prior to entering into this relationship. I want a life that will outlive Instagram and Snapchat. I want to be known deeply by one who accepts me, flaws and all. I want someone that is willing to sacrifice the perfect for the pursuit of presence.

Forever My Girl tells the story of music super-star Liam Page (Alex Roe) who left his bride, Josie (Jessica Rothe), at the altar choosing fame and fortune instead. However, Liam never got over Josie, his one true love, nor did he ever forget his Southern roots in the small community where he was born and raised. When he unexpectedly returns to his hometown for the funeral of his high school best friend, Liam is suddenly faced with the consequences of all that he left behind. Forever My Girl is an uplifting romantic film about second chances. It releases in theaters on January 19.

Review: The Apologetics Study Bible (CSB Version)

The more I read from the CSB translation of the Bible, the more it is becoming my go-to translation. Combine that with my desire to always have an Apologetics Study Bible and this is a no-brainer for me to own. After having spent some time in it, I am grateful for Holman publishing this version.


If you are getting this Bible expecting a lot of footnotes, you will be let down. Sure, there are some at the bottom of nearly every page, but they are most like a copy or slight update to a previous version. It does not mean that they are bad, but if you are looking for one with a lot of notes, you may want to look elsewhere.

Where the footnotes lack, the “articles” in this Bible are where things shine. This is the strong, selling point of the Bible in my opinion. Each article is impressive. The thoughts are nicely condensed and not over your head. Sure, the thoughts may need time to digest, but is that not the point of reading Scripture?

The page layout is also one of the better ones I have seen. The text columns are a little wider than normal and yet the pages have plenty of blank space for jotting down your own notes. The pages flip quite nicely and it lays flat for my purposes.

All in all, it’s a great Bible for an introduction to apologetics. Those who expect a full seminary equivalence in a condensed Study Bible format will be let down. However, for the bulk of Christ followers, this would be a lovely companion to their other Bibles to have handy for when the time is right.

I received this for free from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review. The words above are my own and have not been influenced in any way other than the finished product I received.

Book Review – The Air I Breathe

Louie Giglio is leaving an impact on modern Christianity far beyond anyone’s greatest imagination. What initially started as a gathering of college students has birthed what is known as what could be best described as a movement. Passion has taken hold in the lives of millions of people across this globe, but enough about the movement. The Air I Breathe has recently been rereleased with a new cover. This is, from what I can tell, the very same book.


One thing I must mention is that I am glad Giglio included discussion questions in the back after the main portion of the book. This will help lead small groups and individuals to actually ponder the thoughts he poses. Overall the book is a quick, easy to read overview of worship and how it truly is a way of life and not something that happens only when we gather with other Christians.

The main point of the book is that we are worshipping regardless of whether we think we are or not and our focus ought to be directed towards God for what he has done and is doing. This worship is to be lived out and not just spoken. While this is not an in-depth dive into the theology of worship, this is a practical book that reiterates the basic premises. It would be an excellent book for a young Christian wanting to understand a little bit more about worship.

As a side note, I can definitely tell Giglio’s writing style has changed throughout the years since this original publication. I, for one, am alright with that change.

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 aside from the manuscript and content of the book.