124 - Real Marriage

Mark Driscoll is one of my favorite authors.  He has a way of writing humorous yet powerful words.  Real Marriage is no exception.  The Driscolls challenge their reader to follow God's plan for marriage, Mark talks about loving his wife the way Christ loves the church, and Grace does an excellent job of discussing submission.  This book is simply a great book to recommend to anyone seeking to better their marriage.  Whether you're dating, or engaged, or been married 5 months or 50 years there are great insights here.  If you're looking for a good book on marriage, you found a great one.

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123 - Coming Back Stronger

Drew Brees is an incredible quarterback.  He's an incredible story too.  His life has the same shades of many professional athletes.  Overcoming difficulties, tragedies, and everything in-between.  Drew has lived a good life, and he's constantly leaned on God for strength.  His book about him leading the Saints to the Super Bowl after a terrible injury is inspiring, not only for the sports fan, but for the Christian.  This book would make an excellent gift for any football fan, any athlete, or anyone you know to be honest.  It is excellently written, and crafted in a way that connects with the reader's mind, their passion, and their heart. After reading this book, I can't imagine not cheering for Brees for the rest of his career.  He's an excellent role model, and someone I can point my kids to as a great example of what it means to follow Jesus.  Highly recommended.

122 - The 360 Degree Leader

The 360° Degree Leader is the first book I've read that talks to the one who is stuck "in the middle" or "at the bottom" so to speak. It gives direction to those with position of how to lead "down", but it also encourages those on the bottom on how to "lead up" and those in the middle to "lead down" and "lead across."

First of all, by purchasing The 360° Degree Leader, you are given the privilege of taking an online assessment regarding your own leadership skills, which will help you know which strategies you should work on the most.

Ever wished you were a leader, but felt you didn't have anyone to lead? Ever served under a poor leader and wondered if you should just quit?...or if you should go over their authority and "save the day"? This book is for you.

Ever felt that your character and leadership skills didn't matter because you weren't in an important place in the chain of command? Maxwell breathes life into those who serve in the middle, explaining how their influence is usually bigger than those at the top.

121 - Love, Sex, and Happily Ever After

Craig Groeschel does an excellent job of making a great case for a Christian marriage.  This book would make an excellent addition to any marriage counseling.  I've been married for a couple years, but still found this book great at opening up some discussions with my wife.  Craig is an excellent writer, and this book just adds to the great work he's already put together.  It's a perfect blend of story, guidance, and Bible.  Great for any relationship or individual who's either thinking about dating, been married for 50 years, or anywhere in between.  Great stuff, highly recommended.

120 - Dinner With a Perfect Stranger

Normally little thin books don't impress me.  Normally I fly through them and toss them aside into my "donate" pile.  Yet this one was different.  The book offered a unique look into Christianity and will end up on my shelf for a while.  Perhaps even merit another read.  Nothing monumental, but not as easily dismissed as most books similar to this one.  Worth reading through, but I'm not sure it's going to convince anyone who isn't already convinced of the merit of Christianity.

119 - Fyodor Dostoevsky

This book was an excellent read.  I found the author to be insightful and a great writer.  The only complaint was that this book seemed to drag at times.  Dostoevsky was an excellent writer, but not the most interesting man on the planet.  To be honest, it made me wonder if there were some individuals who accomplished great things, but didn't live in a way worth writing about.  Dostoevsky wrote some amazing books, and was a great Christian man, yet his biography was less than incredible.

I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

118 - Bonhoeffer

I felt pretty sure that I would have difficulty reading the book, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy: A Righteous Gentile vs. the Third Reich, but really wanted to know about the man, so I ordered the book on CD. I am so glad I did! The reader, Malcolm Hillgartner, has the best expression, is clear to understand, and handles the German names and phrases with ease and authentic accent. Is is easy to get into the mood of the story and find myself involved with Bonhoeffer's life struggles as I listen to this biography which was written so masterfully by Eric Metaxas. All my life I have heard reference to the ideas or writings of Bonhoeffer from the pulpit, and had no idea who the man himself was. This book makes him so real. The title is a rich summary of Bonhoeffer's life, and I would add to it: Hero.

117 - With

Skye Jethani's latest book is incredible.  When was the last time and thought about the way you lived your life?  Do you live it for God?  Or under God?  Or maybe even over God?  Well this whole book is dedicated to getting you to begin to live your live with God.  Not just say that's how you're living, but really live your life with God.  You'll evaluate the way you were brought to Christ and what kind of teaching you are receiving on Sundays as you read through this book.  You'll reconsider the attitude you have towards God, is He a police office?  A grandfather?  A genie?  Or is He a friend who you live alongside?  I strongly recommend this book for everyone who calls themselves a Christian.  It's an excellent book for evaluating where you are in your relationship with God, and how you can live life with Him.

I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson in exchange for a fair and honest review.  The opinions above are my own, no one elses.

116 - George Washington Carver

My Thoughts: I have read stories of Carver and heard of his contributions to agriculture especially his work with peanuts. Perry does a wonderful job of portraying Carver's life. However, it is Carver's story of overcoming that warmed my heart the most and served as inspiration. Carver was born into slavery. Lost his family while he was an infant but taken in by a White family and developed an appreciation and a thirst for learning. Carver's thirst continued well into adulthood and granted Carver could have been made a rich man, he chose not to pursue money, but instead he chose to serve.

I am sure Carver's life could fill volumes of books yet somehow Perry managed to provide the reader with an annotated autobiography highlighting some of Carver's accomplishments. Carver's love of service is one to be commended and serves as an excellent reminder that money isn't everything.

115 - J.R.R. Tolkien

For several years I've loved Tolkien's writings.  I've read through the Lord of the Rings and really enjoyed reading books about his writing style, and his friendships within the Inklings.  When I got the opportunity to read a biography on the man, of course I jumped at the chance.  However, this biography seemed less complete than a couple others I've read.  It seemed to focus almost exclusively on Tolkien's faith as the key inspiration for his writing, and said nothing of his relationships with family and friends.  From the information I've gathered Tolkien's family and friends played a key role in inspiring his writing.

This book would make a great addition to any collection on Tolkien, however, I wouldn't recommend it as the only book you read on this great man.  His life is much too interesting for a single book.

114 - Primal

Primal strikes at the heart of true Christianity. The message of this book is a much needed truth in our church culture which has begun to fill that "God-shaped hole" in our lives with stuff. Even the church has been guilty of giving too much importance to material things instead of that which really matters, our Savior. While material things are not evil in nature they do entice us to place an evil importance on them. Even Jesus said that it was nearly impossible for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. It is nearly impossible because all things are possible with God, but the problem is that we, as a culture, do not see ourselves as wealthy.

We are each wealthy. Most of us have a roof over our heads and do not have to worry about where our next meal will come. We need a reformation. We need a reformation of heart. We need a reformation like that which Mark Batterson reveals, a reformation of deeds not necessarily theology. We need to live like Christ would want us to live. We need to love others the way God loves them. Primal is that message for a church that can too easily be entangled by the less important worldly things of life. Primal is a must read for every believer.

113 - Cure for the Common Life

Cure for the Common Life is a book geared toward those who are struggling with their position in life, and/or those who are unhappy in their current profession (or lack of). Lucado states the obvious: unless your last name is Hilton or Gates, men and women must work. His suggestion is to find your "sweet spot" or the place where you, your talents, and God all intersect to create the highest potential of personal fulfillment. Lucado brings in many examples to show how some people are not using their strengths for maximum success, but allowing the world to dictate who we are and what we should be doing. God uniquely creates each individual for His ultimate purpose, and the author suggests that we as individuals need to diligently seek out what it is that we should be doing - and not doing something for glory, greed, position, etc. - but also not falling into the trap of not doing anything at all. Some suggestions included changing your attitude to that of a servant, playing up to your strengths, and daily taking away the focus on what you can do on your own, but what you can do for God. I thought that he was very helpful in guiding the reader to a better understanding toward work and personal strengths. I did not necessarily learn anything new, but this would be a great book for someone just starting out in the self-help book arena who is searching for some answers toward work and personal fulfillment with a Christian perspective. I received this e-book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

112 - Enemies of the Heart

Enemies of the Heart is a repackaging of Andy's former book "It Came from Within."  The book is an excellent read, and I'd recommend if you haven't read either of these books go out and purchase one immediately.  I really appreciate Andy's pastoral heart and his excellent writing.  The book basically helps the reader understand the ins and outs of the things that are seeking to destroy us.  He includes plenty of Scripture and thought provoking insights to keep anyone busy digging into this book.  Stanley is an excellent communicator, and I wouldn't expect anything less than superb from him.  Turns out, he delivers again.

I received a free copy of this book from Multnomah in exchange for an honest review.

111 - The Alarmists

What's better than an end of the world style novel?  Not much.  Don Hoesel crafts a great story as the year 2012 comes to an end and people are panicking.  This fast paced book covers just a few weeks of time, but takes the reader all over the world exploring a mysterious mad man with countless riches and an inflated ego.  The book was an excellent read that offers the reader adventure, action, suspense, and some crime drama.  Hoesel writes from a Christian perspective and includes several concepts unique to Christian fiction.  All in all I found the book interesting, but not amazing.  It was readable, but not an earth-shattering work of fiction.  For Christian fiction it was pretty good though.

Bethany House gave me a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

110 - Seraph Seal

The concept, around which this book is formed, is called scenario thinking or semiotics : the theory that the choices, beliefs, and habits of humans build paths to probable and possible futures. And that identifying and analyzing patterns of behavior can help us develop scenarios for potential outcomes. Looking closely at current events, Sweet and Wagner lead us on a journey to stretch our imaginations and consider the possibilities.

Eight births - all at 2100 on 21 December 2012 and all bearing a birthmark on the right calf - signal the Time of Becoming. One of those children, according to prophecy, has the potential to end the world as we know it. Putting the destiny of the world in the hands of a chosen defender, should Matthew Samael Serafino grow to power.

Jump thirty-six years, to 2048. The Earth is in trouble, after years of man's inhumanity to the planet. Technology has advanced; religion has gone underground. And Paul Binder, a cultural history professor born at the same time as the Eight, receives a mysterious letter, sending him on a quest to find the 2nd-century Diatessaron manuscript and "unlock the future of your world."

What follows is a journey, filled with prophesies and strange events, reaching from one possible future back into ancient traditions and forward again. Travel with Paul and the Eight from the United States to England; to Egypt, the Sahara, Israel, Syria, Italy, France, and the Cave of St. Anne on Patmos - where it is believed John wrote "Revelation." Share Paul's struggle to find and decipher hidden clues, and realize his destiny.

109 - Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me

The CIA element of the story is barely mentioned and doesn't actually seem to have a huge impact on Ian's story. The part regarding the CIA which was the most interested was at the beginning of the novel, where Ian talks about going to father's funeral and tells of the odd behavior of those who he believed were his father's co-workers. For most of the rest of the story, we never hear about the CIA, and it didn't really seem to impact Ian that much. The biggest part was when the family was almost forced to move out of country - almost.

Because the CIA was mentioned in the title, I expected it to be quite a large part of the story, possibly with stories about his father's travels, but there wasn't. I felt a bit cheated because of this. The book should be re-titled, Jesus, my Father, Alcohol, and Me.

Some of the most interesting, and generally funniest, parts of the novel were Ian's experiences with church. He grew up attending a Catholic church, and tells many humorous stories, from his first communion, to when his families nanny accidentally brought him to church two hours early for his first day as an altar boy.

In the end, I felt this book had some interesting parts. The stories from his church were generally funny, but sometimes insightful. It was heartbreaking at times, reading about a child desperate for his father's love yet only seeing a drunken mess. However, he sometimes wrote in near stream of consciousness, breaking off in the middle of a story to dive into a thought that didn't always resolve.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

108 - The Final Summit

The Final Summit is the story of David Ponder. Mankind has become so vile and dissolute that the end of the world is coming. He must find the way to help humanity get back on the right course. The answer is two words. Time is short and he must summon a "traveler", which is a person from history, to help him find the answer. He only gets five helpers.
This book is a continuation of the other books about David Ponder. He is a 74 year old man that has suffered through the loss and regain of everything he has. Lately however, his wife has passed away leading him to consider suicide.
Gabriel the archangel comes to him to tell him he is in charge of a summit to determine what humanity must do. He goes and with the help of the other travelers works to find a solution to the problem set in front of them.
I received this book for free from BookSneeze.

107 - Max on Life

I recently read the e-book "Max on Life" by Max Lucado. This book is based on people writing to Max and asking all different kinds of questions that they have about life and life situations and Max responded to them based on a biblical view. Max referenced the bible in every answer he gave, and a list of verses he used to respond were included in the back of the book. Some of the issues he covers in the book vary from "Why am I here?" to "Why church?" to "Who goes to Heaven?" etcetera.

At first I wasn't drawn in, because it seemed as if I had already heard the questions and seen the answers before about why I am here and such, but as it got more towards the middle of the book about marriage and relationships, I got more into it. I was definitely impressed with the way Max biblically answered each question, giving backup from God's word for every situation.

Because of the wide variety of questions, I believe that this book would be helpful for every type of Christian, whether they are new or have been a Christian for a long time and I would recommend it.

106 - Story Engineering

I've read lots of books on writing good stories.  I've watched DVDs and listened to lectures on crafting and organizing a story.  I've studied the craft for a while and I've learned there are very few great books out there on the subject.  There are some good ones, some decent ones, and a few crummy ones.  However, there are only a few Great books.  This book was good, not great.  Larry Brooks did an excellent job of getting his points across and had more than enough information to merit a couple read throughs.  However, there was nothing truly groundbreaking about it.  I would recommend this book to anyone interested to sit down and start working on a novel.  I would not recommend it to anyone who had studied the idea of writing stories already.  This book makes an excellent primer, but a poor research book.

I received this book free from BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review.

105 - How to Write a Book Proposal

How to Write a Book Proposal is an excellent read.  The book offers an in-depth step by step method to how to write a book proposal.  The book is extremely practical for those who are struggling with writing figuring out how to get their book read by the right people.  The book wasn't necessarily practical at this point in my life, since I'm not finished with anything yet, but will be a book I come back to over and over throughout my life.  I'm sure the information in this book can help any writer at least get their proposal read and seriously considered.  It's an excellent read for the writer or hope-to-be-writer.

I received this book for free from Writer's Digest Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.

104 - The Treasure Principle

Randy Alcorn's book has been around for a while.  I have finally gotten around to reading it.  I should have read this book long ago.  It's brief, powerful, and will change the way you look at generosity.  Alcorn encourages his readers to give and give and give.  Give and see how blessed you are.  Give and see what a difference it makes in your life.  I would encourage anyone who is a fan of Dave Ramsey or Crown Financial to check this book out.  Obviously at 120 pages it can't replace the power of a financial class, but it can give you a boost, when you begin to second-guess yourself.  Highly recommended.

I received this book for free from Multnomah in exchange for an honest review.

103 - Beyond Talent

IJohn Maxwell presents his book, “Beyond Talent” in an great way. The language is clear and simple and the message is very basic. His primary message is that talents aren't enough, hard work is the key to success.  Hard work specifically geared toward developing your talents.  The 13 chapters aim to clarify 13 key factors in developing your talents.  His storytelling throughout the book makes the points manageable and easier to remember.  I would highly recommend buying 2 copies of this book one for yourself and one for someone you'd like to see succeed.

I'm supposed to let you know I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson in exchange for a fair an honest review.

102 - Unleashed

Are you tired of a civilized religion that has the goal of keeping you safe as you serve God? Have you found yourself turned off by the lack of risk and hopelessness you have found in the church? Erwin suggests that it is time for a different way, a barbarian way. We need to unleash our faith and truly live.
Here’s some of the cool things about this book:

He takes this theme of barbarian/unleashed living throughout the whole book. It is one idea developed in many different ways. Not many books can do that - but I found myself really interested throughout the whole time.

McManus is seriously funny and I found myself laugh out loud a few times while reading.
He is a great storyteller, and writes how he speaks (because he transcribes to someone).

This is my second time reading this book. I had a much easier time reading it through - but the first time since it was re-released as Unleashed. There are only 4 chapters - so sometimes it can feel like the chapters are really long. This was a little hard for me. But, it’s a small book and if you put in the effort - it is going to be a really challenging book. It challenged me to want to unleash my faith and live fully the adventure God had called me to.

101 - The Cause Within You

The Cause Within You, by Matthew Barnett, not only shares the story of how God used him to begin an extraordinary movement--Dream Centers--but it also shares with readers how they might find their own cause. In this compelling read, which concludes with Scripture and a discussion guide, Barnett gives readers an inspiring call to action, "you need to identify the cause within you now. Today."

Throughout the book, which contains many, many moving stories of not only Barnett's faith journey, but of others who have found their cause, Barnett gives readers solid, biblical wisdom about seeking God and distinguishing between their dreams and God's divine plan for their lives. "When you find that sweet spot that reflects your cause, it is at the intersection of your passion (what really matters to you), your gifts (what you do best), and your contribution (how you make the world better)."

In a world where the vast majority of people seem to be consumed by busy-ness and the pursuit of monetary happiness, this book opens the eyes to something bigger and better--to the joy and peace that pursuing God's plan for you can bring.

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

100 - The Charlatan's Boy

I'm a huge fan of young adult fiction.  I love a good story.  Jonathan Rogers didn't let me down with his latest book "The Charlatan's Boy."  I found the book addictive.  I simply couldn't put it down.  The story was lighthearted and funny offering plenty of chances to laugh and enjoy myself.  The book was also written in a way that would make it an excellent read for both teens and adults.  The book was excellent and I'd recommend it to anyone seeking a good story.

The book was also a super quick read.  Not necessarily because it was short, but because it's one of the those books you just can't seem to tear yourself away from.

I'm supposed to let you know that I received my copy from Waterbrook Press in exchange for a fair and honest review.

099 - Johann Sebastian Bach

Many know the name Bach.  However, very few know about Bach's immense faith.  Bach believed that everything he wrote was written to give glory to God.  His biography does an excellent job of delving into the details of not only Bach's music, but also his faith.  It's inspiring to read about such an amazing Christian who also created incredible music.  This trait is very much loss on today's generation.  These days Christian music is just a cheap replacement for "secular" music.  Bach obviously created some amazing music, but also did it with his focus on God.  I would recommend this book to any Christian who is interested in music.  They would find inspiration to excel not just survive.

I received this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for a fair and honest review.

098 - Galileo

Mitch Stokes' book Galileo was interesting.  The book offered a unique look into the life of Galileo.  Stokes walks the reader through Galileo's life and highlights his faith along the way.  I'm actually fairly unlearned in the area of Galileo's Christianity.  I didn't realize he had an active and genuine faith, which to be honest make me suspect Stokes' book.  How can this be the first book to talk about Galileo's faith?  Why has it not been mentioned in any other places?  Perhaps Stokes is looking for something that isn't there, similar to those who look at the history of America and see a bunch of Evangelicals instead of the Deists that they were.  Perhaps Christian optimism has jaded the way Stokes sees things.  I'd be interested to find a Galileo scholar who disagreed with Stokes and see their reasoning as well.

I received this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.

097 - The Little Red Book of Wisdom

Sometimes we stumble upon a short little read that has tremendous possibilities.  The Little Red Book of Wisdom could be one of those books.  As I read through the book there were portions I wanted to rip out to hand to certain people I know.  The book was an excellent read offering advice on both the personal life and the professional life.  Each chapter offers insights into one of those two categories.

This book is one of those books that you can buy a copy for yourself and a couple copies to give away.  Graduation gifts, when someone is struggling, or just to help someone along in life this book would make an excellent gift.

I'm also supposed to let you know that I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review from Thomas Nelson.

096 - Doing Virtuous Business

What happens when a company takes advantage of thousands, steals their retirement, and then just closes?  Enron.  Movies are made and people react.  This book was a reaction to the terrible and despicable things that happened in Enron and the way they did business.  What should guide a company?  Should capitalism alone dictate the decisions of CEOs?  I hope not, because often capitalism points to making as much money as possible without regard to others or the environment.  Doing Virtuous Business does an excellent job of showing how someone can run a company and be a person of integrity.  Running a successful business doesn't require one to sell their soul.  Rather they can honor their beliefs and values as well as make a living.  I'd recommend this book to anyone involved in the business world.  It's a great read.

I'm supposed to let you know that Thomas Nelson provided me with a review copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

095 - Awakening

How many questions do you have about fasting and drawing closer to God?  If you're like me probably several.  Stovall Weems does an excellent job of tackling how to keep your spiritual life fresh and powerful.  His book breaks down some basic principles that will help you stay aligned to God's will.  His book also coveys all the important information in a 21 day format so that after getting through the first part of the book the reader can practice what they learned for 21 days.  It's a great read and I'd highly recommend it for anyone seeking a bump in their spiritual life.

I'm also supposed to let you know I received this book for free from Waterbrook in exchange for an honest review.

094 - The Band that Played On

I don't know if you remember the movie Titanic, but it came out a few years back and every highschool/jr high girl saw the movie approximately a million times.  DiCaprio stole the show.  Soon afterwards the historic story fell off the face of the planet again, back into the cloud of history.  There was one thing that struck me from the clips of the movie I've seen.  Who were those guys who kept playing music on the sinking ship?  Where they insane?  Or genius?

The Band that Played On does an excellent job of retelling the story of those men.  The men who sacrificed their lives to try to bring peace to a hectic crowd.  The backstory of the men, who they were, how they got on the ship was all extremely interesting.  This book brings life to an old story that many people know, but don't know the details of.  The men featured in The Band that Played On are memorable and interesting.  I would recommend this book to any history buff who wants to know a little more about a unique feature of the Titanic tragedy.

I'm also supposed to let you know I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson in exchange for a fair and honest review.

093 - If God, Why Evil?

There are few apologists that are very practical and yet powerfully convincing.  Norman Geisler is one of them.  Geisler has written this brief book simply over the problem of evil.  I've read several of his book, and yet this one is my personal favorite.  The book was short enough to be easily digested, yet long enough to get his full argument.  He didn't cut corners just to make the book shorter.  At 173 pages the book is crammed with information and theological/philosophical thoughts.  I would recommend this book to anyone who struggles with this question.  I would recommend this book to anyone who knows someone who has raised the problem of evil being their reason for rejecting Christ.  Geisler is an extremely intelligent individual and does an excellent job tackling this issue.

I'm also supposed to let you know that Bethany House gave me a free review copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

092 - Radical Together

Have you read David Platt's book Radical?  The book that took the Christian world by storm as it argued against the consumer mind-set of modern Christianity.  Well, Platt has continued his challenging appeal to be radical by expanding it to becoming a radical community.  Platt's first work was excellent, and his followup seems to be more of the same.  In this short book Platt breaks down the church.  This short book (which could be considered an expansion pack to Radical) is amazing and powerful.  Platt tackles many of the big issues facing our churches today, and not in a political way like so many other writers do.  Instead Platt tackles the issue of spiritual problems rather than just another book on the religious right.  I highly recommend you go pick up this book, it's well worth the read.

I'm also supposed to let you know Multnomah sent me a free review copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

091 - A Conversation with God

A Conversation with God was labeled as a Bible Study on the website I requested it from.  I would say that I did enjoy the book, but that seems to be a misrepresentation of the book.  Gansky's book is written in a letter/conversation style format.  He covers the stero-typical topics that one would expect in a book called Conversation with God.  The book offers very little ground-breaking insights, but does do a decent job of reiterating the answers to many popular questions that many people are probably asking.  I would recommend this book to someone struggling with some of the questions this book discusses that hasn't found satisfactory answers anywhere else.  It might help them.  For those who have struggled with many of the questions of the faith then this book is probably not going to be a great read for them.

I am supposed to let you know I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson in exchange for a fair, and honest review.

090 - Finding Our Way Again

Brian McLaren is a controversial figure in most churches.  I've heard him called everything from visionary to heretic.  But after reading this book I do have more respect for him.  I might not agree with everything that he has to say, or his theology, but at the same time I realize he is a fellow traveler on the road of life, trying to make sense of Jesus, God, the Bible, and the role we humans play.  I highly recommend reading through this book before judging McLaren.

I'm supposed to let you know that I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson in exchange for a fair and honest review.

089 - The Ragamuffin Gospel

Few books have influenced and impacted authors, musicians, and creative-type people that The Ragamuffin Gospel.  Manning has been quoted by nearly everyone at one point or another.  This book is simply tremendous.  Manning digs into topics in such an open and honest way the reader feels like their having a conversation rather than reading a book.  The books itself is a Christian Classic.  The words offer encouragement and conviction, yet always prompting the reader to go on for "just a few more pages."  No review would ever do this book justice, and if you don't own this book I recommend going out and buying it immediately.  If you do own this book I would recommend giving away a copy to someone you know who needs it.

I'm supposed to let you know I received this book for free from Multnomah in exchange for an honest review.

088 - Curiosities of the Civil War

I'm a big fan of history.  I enjoy historic accounts and learning from the past.  I hate historical fiction.  It has nothing to do with history and probably confuses people more than helps them understand it.  This book was excellent though because it was as sensational as a fiction book, but as true as real history.  Garrison did an excellent job of retelling plenty of short stories about the Civil War.  Many were quite interesting.

I also loved the readability of this book.  I could pick it up, read a story and put it back down.  Then later I could come back, start a totally different story and read through it in one sitting.  It was an excellent quality considering I like most people am fairly busy.  I would recommend this book for anyone who loves history or loves historic fiction.  The history buff will love the interesting short stories, the fiction reader will love the stories.

I'm also supposed to let you know that I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review.

087 - The Global-Warming Deception

Many people over the years have accused Environmentalists of fear mongering.  Many assume that they make up facts and figures about global warming in an effort to gain political power.  However, after reading this book I’ve learned that the Religious Right also does their fair share of fear mongering.  Grant Jeffrey wrote this book in an effort to point out how those who teach Global Warming are essentially trying to destroy America.  Yes, it is as ridiculous as it sounds.  His book comes across as ignorant and sensational.  I am disappointed that Waterbrook would even consider publishing such rubbish.  I thought about selling my copy on Amazon to be done with it, but I decided it was bad enough that I didn’t want anyone to purchase it.  Rather I will keep it around to remind me of how ignorance has run rampant in the church, and encourage me to continue to educate Christians.

I’m supposed to let you know that Waterbrook gave me a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.

086 - Pujols

Albert Pujols is an amazing athlete.  This book details Albert's life from birth in the Dominican Republic to World Series and All Star games.  Throughout the entire thing, the authors make Pujols' faith clear and an obvious part in his life.  They show God shaping and preparing Pujols for the man he will become.  We see him grow up physically, talent-wise, and spiritually.  This book is a must read for any baseball fan.  I would recommend it to any Cardinal fan for sure.

I'm also supposed to let you know I received this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for a fair and honest review.

085 - The Next Christians

Do you care about the future of Christianity?  Do you wonder how the next generation is going to experience Christ and the Church?  Do you see the slow shift in today's churches?  Then this book is for you.  Gabe Lyons does an excellent job of walking his readers through his study to the conclusion that the American church is dying.  He goes on to explain why this is a good thing.  I would highly recommend checking out Gabe's book.  Even if you disagree with him, you'll learn quite a bit about the current state of the church.

I also should let you know I received this book from Waterbrook/Multnomah in exchange for a fair and honest review.

084 - Fruit of the Spirit - Love

If you're looking for a great in-depth study look no further.  This study was excellent and dives into the depths of Love.  Miller does an excellent job of helping his readers understand love in a deeper way and offers them insights they might not have thought of before.  I highly recommend this book for small groups and for personal study.  I got the Kindle edition though and would probably recommend the physical copy instead.

083 - 31 Days of Drawing Near to God

Devotionals are quite often a dime a dozen.  You can find a mediocre devotional just about anywhere.  Unfortunately, Ruth Myers' book 31 Days of Drawing Near to God is just another devotional.  A book that perhaps would be excellent if the reader already loved Ruth Myers, but nothing to make the reader fall in love with her writing.  It offers that same ordinary insights into the Christian life that has been written by hundreds of authors and printed thousands of times.  It might not get me many stars on Multnomah's website, but regardless the honest evaluation of this book, is save your money.  There are much better devotionals out there (some have been reviewed on this blog).

I'm also supposed to let you know I received this book from Waterbrook / Multnomah in exchange for a fair and honest review.

082 - The Quotable Chesterton

Have you ever been working on a lesson or a paper and tried to find a good quote for the introduction or ending?  I know I have on several occasions.  I've always loved quotes.  Good ones normally get written out and stuck on my wall somewhere, great ones get blog posts.  The Quotable Chesterton compiled by Kevin Belmonte is an extremely useful resource to have around for those who like me enjoy good quotes.  Belmonte offers quotes from G. K. Chesterton on a variety of topics.  He even includes endnotes so that it's easy and convenient to cite the original source in a paper.  This book wouldn't be successful if it weren't for Chesterton who said and wrote many inspiring things in his life.  Chesterton's work is broken down and allows the reader to easily locate the subject of their choice and see what Chesterton had to say about it.  I highly recommend this book.

I'm also supposed to let you know I received this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for a fair and honest review.

081 - In Constant Prayer

By now we've reviewed almost the whole Ancient Practices Series.  Here's one of the last remaining ones we haven't gone over yet.  In Constant Prayer by Robert Benson was an excellent read.  He challenges his readers to... get ready for this... pray.  It seems like something so simple, but it's such a beautiful concept.  Something that we all know we should be doing, but at the same time so often forget to do.  How can we make prayer an integrated part of our lives where it becomes engrained in us?  What can we do to "pray without ceasing"?  Benson tackles those questions and more.

I'm supposed to let you know I received this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for a fair and honest review.

080 - Defiant Joy

I've always loved G. K. Chesterton.  This book does an excellent job of portraying the man who has influenced so many Christian thinkers.  Belmonte does a super job of showing us the real Chesterton, not just the writer.  We get to see his character through his written word.  The book is excellently written and one of the best biographies I've read in a while.  Highly recommended to anyone who loves G.K. or even for those who have never heard of him.  You'll not just get to see Chesterton's character, but also read about some of his works and his various accomplishments.  I though Belmonte did an excellent job of writing this book.

I'm also supposed to let you know I received this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for a fair and honest review.