Book Review: How To Ruin Your Life

At first glance How To Ruin Your Life by Eric Geiger is a book that you would not want to read. After all, who wants to ruin their life? However, as you can probably guess, the contents from the book are far from a step by step instruction manual to this process, but instead are a guide of what to look for to avoid this situation. We can slowly drift into situations where we can easily ruin our life. Geiger set out to give us characteristics that we should look for before it is too late.

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We gain this knowledge by looking at the life of David (and Saul to some extent). Rather than simply gathering the points and then communicating, Geiger has taken us on a journey through the life of David. What we see through this journey is not only the steps to make sure to ruin your life (if you choose, but I would recommend not doing it), but also how to respond when we do blow it.

Geiger knows that despite how much we may fight against it, we may blow it in the major things and will blow minor situations. We all may not commit adultery, but we will all surely miss out on a deadline that we agreed to or break a promise to our kids to be at their baseball game. I am thankful that Eric included the steps of confession and celebration towards the end of the book. It does someone no good to make a choice that can ruin their life and then sit there and do nothing about it. Confession is good for the heart and it is an excellent virtue to adhere to early in life.

You may think that you do not need this book that there is no way that you will set out and make a decision that will ruin your life. The problem is, as Eric points out, boredom and complacency is a great spot for us to make one foul move. You need to know how to combat it and this book will help. It would benefit everyone to get this book, read it, and live by it.

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 other than the written manuscript of the book.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

You’ve Got Dreams

You have dreams. You have goals. I know this because you are reading this. I do not count the robots from Google reading this, but thanks. What we (and I say we because I count myself in this category quite often) lack is the ability to follow through on these. For whatever excuse we use, most of us will not ever complete the task we dream of doing. Michael Hyatt is out to fix that issue.

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Sure, he may not be able to make the effort and work easier, but he can help us hit our goals. In his new book Your Best Year Ever, Hyatt guides us in proven steps to help us accomplish our goals. This book is relatively short and is an easy read, but the contents are worth more than what you pay. You could easily read this in one day if you sat down with your morning cup of coffee, but it should not be read that way. Instead, to grasp the full extent of the content, one must chew on it and digest it. Trust me when I say chew. It will be better that way.

Now is the perfect opportunity to pick this book up and do some planning for the next year. As we are still at the beginning of January, there is a lot of time left in the year to accomplish things. If we not only dream big, but make a smart plan, we can do a lot. Michael’s plan is a great way to fulfill those dreams.

I would recommend this book to people that are serious about tackling their careers, relationships, and taking control of their life. As a business major, I had heard of SMART goals, but Michael expands on this and uses SMARTER goals. That is just one of the things you can expect to read about to put into action to make your life succeed.

As a side note, I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest 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.