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.

Tripp_Let_Us_Adore

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.

Advertisements

CSB Reader’s Bible Review

I have shared my excitement about the CSB translation in the past and now there is an entirely new way to read it. The CSB Reader’s Bible is a very nice cloth-bound Bible that removes all of the distractions of other Bibles.

There are no verse indicators or notes or cross references to distract you from reading the words. Instead, your eyes will read verse after verse as a continuous thought with ease instead of stopping simply because the little number tells you it is a new thought. This is closer to how Scripture was originally written and read than our current numbering system of today.

Hopefully, this will allow you to connect the dots of Scripture like never before as you are capable of reading it in a new way. Although I would like the pages to be be thicker and the paper to be more sturdy, I am thankful that the folks at B&H have made this effort. There are other publishers that have removed the numbering of other translations, but they are all much more costly than this one. Sure, they may be bound better or have certain qualities that make them more desirable, but this is an accessible way to get this style of Bible to the masses.

If you’ve wanted to spruce up your Scripture reading and find new joy in it, this would be a wonderful way to start.

I received this Bible for free from the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review.

Sharing Jesus Without Freaking Out

Evangelism is lacking in the church today. I am not one to believe the theory that it is not being done simply because people are ashamed of their faith. I believe the main reason Christians are not sharing Jesus is because they do not know how. They have come to know Christ, but then no one has shown them how to actually share Jesus. Instead, they have seen it more as a step by step process that if you miss one, you damn a person to hell eternally. This is not the case and I am glad the new book from Alvin Reid Sharing Jesus Without Freaking Out is now available to help a new generation of Christians learn to share their faith.

sharing

Throughout the book, Reid’s desire is for the reader to see that sharing the Gospel does not have to be a pressuring topic. Instead, Jesus should be something that comes up in our normal conversations of life. If this Gospel has transformed our life and is still working in our lives, we should be talking about it. We should not simply leave evangelism to those who are deemed evangelists. Evangelism is the call of every believer.

If a believer will follow the steps outlined by Reid, they will feel encouraged to share Jesus, but not in a pressured manner. Rather, the believer will see that sharing Jesus is as simple as living life and capitalizing upon the situations that arise on a daily basis. When we spend time talking to our neighbor, we build a bridge for the Gospel to eventually cross. When we speak words of encouragement to a coworker we allow the Gospel to slowly work its way into the person’s life. When we share the Gospel and it transforms the heart of a person we have played an integral role in God’s mission on earth. Whether we find ourselves able to explicitly share the words of Christ, we must trust that God is working in the lives of those around us and in the end it is not our responsibility nor in our ability to save anyone. That role is left to Jesus.

This book is the best one that I have read designated specifically to sharing Jesus. Reid does not condemn those who have not actively been sharing the faith, but he gently encourages them to start sharing. It is an easy to read book that would be a perfect study for a small group or even a church-wide campaign.

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

Devotional: The Gift Of Jesus

The Gift of Jesus is a new devotional in the My Daily Devotional line. It is a gray soft, leather like covered devotional with weekly contributions by pastors of the Southern Baptist Convention (from what I can tell). The forward and first week of material is written by Johnny Hunt who is a former SBC president.

gift_of_jesus

The structure of the devotional is nice. It has fifty-two weeks which contain a daily reading for Monday thru Friday and then one for the weekend. The Scripture referenced is printed above the original material and a short prayer is below to help people find their flow.

I like the content of the devotionals and fought it easy to read and thought provoking. There is a fair amount of space to make notes on the page around the words that are printed. There is even a ribbon to mark your progress through the devotional. One advantage is that even though this spans the length of a year, the weeks are only labeled by number and there is no date reflected on the pages. Theoretically you could start week one in the middle of October and be perfectly fine as your reading progresses.

If you’re looking for a nice devotional to give someone as a gift, this would be one of my top choices. The readings aren’t too long and the content is good. The quality of the book is superb all the way around.

I received this item for free in exchange for an unbiased review. The words here are my own and have not been influenced in any way by the publisher or authors.

A Modern Classic

RagamuffinSpecial300x250Let me say that this book is a modern classic. You do not have to be in a church environment for long before you hear someone talk about the greatest known work of Brennan Manning. This book, The Ragamuffin Gospel will change your life. It is easy to see why the publishers wanted to repackage it as a special anniversary edition. The truth is, they let you know up front that they knew it was nearly flawless in its original publishing and did not seek to add anything to it this time. Instead, they wanted it to be just as powerful and not detract from it.

I admire the honesty of Manning’s writing. He was willing to confront the issues in the church at the time and are still present today. Rather than shying away from telling his story, he opens up and invites you to know his journey and the things he has experienced.

The Ragamuffin Gospel is a book that will leave you determined to seek out the ragamuffins around you. You will not be content to live your life in the same way after reading this book. I would rank this as important as the works of C. S. Lewis in regards to your walk with Christ. You simply need to read this if you’re feeling stale in your faith or even if you feel like you’re blossoming. Every Christian needs to read this book.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Review: Jesus, Continued…by J. D. Greear

I read a lot of books. I have lost count of all the books that I have read so far this year. This one easily ranks at the top of that list. The words of Greear have molded me in the short time I have had this book and is one that could easily find its place in a yearly cycle. The main idea behind the book is why the Spirit inside of you is better than Jesus beside you. At first glance, it seems almost sacrilegious; however, there is a great amount of truth in that statement. Read that thought and let it sink in a little bit. The Spirit inside of you is better than Jesus beside you.

If you want to read the rest of the review, please click here.

This book was released at an appropriate time in my own life. I am a pastor and in some ways, I can identify with the author. I have not seen the Holy Spirit move in my own life as much recently as I would like. If that makes me less of a pastor, then so be it. I believe there is power in admitting our faults and our discouragement. I know that it is possible that it is because I have seen the Holy Spirit used as an excuse to rip people to shreds or to proclaim words of God that are completely off base. Through this book, the Holy Spirit has worked on me. I have began to allow Him the opportunity to speak to me more freely and to know that God is working things out in my own life even if I make mistakes.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

In The Midst Of The Rain

It has been a rainy day in the Southwestern part of the Commonwealth today. The rain began pecking my car window as I was driving into the office this morning. I had hoped to make it in before it started, but alas, I did not and encountered only a little dampness on my shirt after walking into the building. I realize I am not from Seattle and thus I have the option to carry an umbrella, but that would be too simple. I ventured back out into it for an hour today around noon and stumbled upon a thought that has been on my brain since I returned. Continue reading “In The Midst Of The Rain”