Playing Hurt Book

Title:  Playing Hurt
Author:  Brian Goins
                Thisbook is written for husbands so why would a wife want to read a book like this?  First of all, I believe women can learn a lotfrom what a man reads.  I will use theinformation presented to pray more effectively for my husband.  It is a good tool for discussions of theheart, which is what most women want to know about their man.  In a culture that is fast-paced, sex-saturated,not to mention a possible host of other stresses and challenges, having time totalk deeper is becoming even more important.
                It is abook of hope.  The author reveals himselfand his struggles as part of human nature. He speaks compassionately yet pointedly. I found the book will not only challenge the husband, but any wife whomakes time to read it as well.  It isinteresting that this book is published at the same time as a  movie entitled COURAGEOUS is released and a CDby Casting Crowns entitled COME TO THE WELL, which both tie in well with thecontent of this book.
                The songon the CD is called COURAGEOUS, and it is a call for men to stand up bykneeling with lifted hands.  While manywould agree that men have to change, women do to.  In order for our husbands to take their placewe have to be willing to let God tell us as wives how to get out of His way soHe can work, how to not enable bad cycles, how to encourage them and notdestroy them.  So it is apparent if welisten to the Lord that both men and women need to be courageous in that theyobey God’s Word and leading.  We all haveto be willing to be transformed more into the image of Christ.  We must stop reflecting back to the worldwhat it looks like, as we are to reflect the image of Christ, an image which isvastly different than the world.
                Ittakes courage to stand up and whether others go or not, we follow theLord.  The beauty is that we are neveralone for He has given to us a precious gift, the Holy Spirit.  He is always present with us in ourday-to-day activities.  He hears all,sees all and knows all.  May we allhumble ourselves and let the Lord give us courage to be more like Christ andless like the world.  Shut out and offall the electric stuff and reconnect with each other.  It starts at home, and from there it ripplesout.  Remember it is not to just impacttoday, but future generations as well. So go ahead, be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  As you are transformed, so your home will thenbe also and the world will see that Christ is Who He says He is.

World Tilting Gospel

Title:  TheWorld-Tilting Gospel
Author:  Dan Phillips
                When Ifirst saw the title of the book, I was drawn to it.  I have seen many changes within the Body ofChrist universally speaking that I didn’t have a peace about, but why?  In this book, Dan very adequately puts inwords what I was experiencing.   The Gospelis in itself , world tilting, myth busting, powerful Truth.  Not because it is true, it is a Personifiedtruth in the Person of Jesus Christ.
                Theauthor very well points out what is Gospel and what is not.  It is a call for the Church to repent andawaken to speaking the Truth unashamed.  Itis a call not to fear man or fearing another person’s feelings, but callingthem to see what is reality.  The realityas God sees it and calls it.  Though thereality would hurt and profoundly cause us to gasp, it would then wonderfullyshow us the Person Jesus Christ.  Whilethe world wants Christians to “blend in”, “shut up and sit down”, we need tostand up and make the Truth known no matter the cost.
                Somethink this means we are called to go overseas as missionaries, maybe someare.  More profoundly though we are all called to be missionaries,ambassadors.  We represent not adenomination, particular view of doctrines, programs but a Person.  We must look at the Word and let Him show uswhere we fall short of living out a life that draws attention instead ofrepelling it.  We need others to knowthere is someone, named Jesus Christ, who loves them.  They cannot come to Him on their terms or intheir own ways but in the only way a Holy God provides.  No matter what the “world” or the “god ofthis world” says, there is one way and again it is Jesus.  There is no other way, no way to work outthrough “good deeds” our way into heaven. We must bend our knee, humble ourselves not exalt ourselves.  We must admit with all that is within us whata mess we are, how sin has utterly destroyed and separated us from a HolyGod.  It doesn’t matter to me whetherpeople agree or not.  Why doesn’t itmatter that people agree?  Truth is Truthwhether people want to see Him, acknowledge Him as well as embrace Him.  Turn away they can, ignore Him, curse at Him,deny Him none of this is new to Him, He has known this all before.  He has experienced it as a man before.  He sympathizes with our weaknesses, but Hecannot turn away from it.  He shed Hisprecious blood so we can be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ.  Man has choice, free will.  There are no other choices before humanity.
                WhoseTruth will you embrace?  Is it what somebodytells you what truth is or are you going to read the Word of God for yourself, check it out,study it, believe it?  He turned my worldupside down several times since He and I first met in 1980.  I know He will never stop, for I must becomeless in order for Him to become more in me. I am His, He is mine.  What aboutyou?
               

The Liberating Truth

Title: The Liberating Truth
Author:  DanielleStrickland
When I first saw this title, I wanted to see if the authorwas putting forth a certain premise.  Somuch happens in our society today to which we need to pay attention.  The author makes the plight of abuse towardswomen as wrong in her book, which I agree with. Secondly, the author brings forth how women as well as young girls aresold into prostitution, abuse, denied the basic needs for living and so muchmore.  None of this do I disagreewith.  As members of the Body we need tobring these women out of such lives and into a life filled with all that Jesushas to give to them.
Unless one is rooted deeply in the Word, I would notrecommend this book.  Yes, the Body stillneeds to deal with her sins, seeing them as Jesus sees them.  Yes, the Body shouldn’t excuse or deny thewrong inflicted against women, as they are made in the image of God.  No one should be treated disrespectfully orabusively.  Why?  All of us are made in the image of God thatis why.  The Body does need to love eachother as Jesus loves her because that will draw them to Him, not just to areligious establishment. 
However, in many areas of this book, I disagree with theconclusions the author was drawing. Women can find fulfillment in their God-given roles without strippingmen of theirs.  Men and women are co-heirswith Christ.  Christ showed all ofmankind that women are people too, nothing less than that.  The author however quotes other men and womenauthors to establish a very mistaken view. I hold nothing against the author as a person, yet her conclusions andcall to what she believes is the right action I find to be non-biblical.  There is such dignity and value that Godbestows upon women that they will find so satisfying if they operate withinthat calling, letting the men carry what God has called them to carry. Theauthor alludes to conclusions others make about a section of Scripture withoutgiving or making notation of where the conclusions are found so a reader maylocate the source, read and see if the author is drawing proper conclusions.
I could go on and on as the author did in her book, with oneexception.  I would quote more of thewhole counsel of God and leave out the conclusions of others.  Scripture speaks and supports itself.  I would highly recommend reading faithfullyHis Word, and for yourself see what He has to say.  It is His Truth that will set all mankindfree, indeed.
A fellow contributor writes:
I completely agree with everything expressed in the priorblog.  I agree with the author of thisbook when she talks about the abuse of women and the heinous practices againstthem.  These acts should be condoned byno one.  Jesus did value women at a timein history when most women were viewed as property.  It is our responsibility as Christians to doall we can to help bring women to Christ and His freedom.
I would not recommend this book either.  Unless you are truly well-grounded in HisWord, you may come away from reading this book with the wrong impression ofwomen and their roles.  A lot of problemscan come about when women try to step into a role that isnot theirs to assume.  Feminism hasblurred and confused men and women as to what place each gender should occupy.
The author makes certain statements that pertain toChristians and their view of women as if that is how all Christians viewwomen.  She makes several sweepinggeneralizations or states opinion as if it is fact.  I could state several examples of thesegeneralizations, but there are too many to list in this blog. 
I just didn’t like the constant references to the“empowerment of women.”  It sounds toomuch like some feminist phrase and that could negatively impact readers or leadother readers astray if not well-versed in what Scripture says.  We must read critically, constantly comparingto what God says in the Bible to identify and verify if what is put forth isHis truth.  The liberating truth is notthat Jesus empowers women, but the truth is in God’s Word and that is what willset you free.

From the Garden to the City

Title:  From theGarden to the City
Author:  John Dyer
                I wasnot sure exactly what I expected when I signed up to read and blog thisparticular book.  Perhaps one thing I waslooking for was what perspective it would place before its’ readers.  I was not raised with a computer keyboard,but a typewriter.  I was not raised in atime when people sent text messages, but instead wrote letters, sent cards, orcalled.  Having to learn how to use acomputer, how to navigate the World Wide Web, learn about various browsers, andso much more has been a long and continual process.  Yes, there have been times I wanted to throwthe computer out the window!  That couldbe a little expensive to say the least.
                Overtime I have started to see changes in the local Body of fellowship using newtechnological tools.  In the stores thereseems to be someone talking all the time; it is a large screen with constantcommercials.  Then people using their cellphones are not only talking on them, but typing on tiny keyboards.  I watch as people who are shopping walk theaisles and talk loudly enough so the person on the other end of theconversation can hear them, forgetting they have an unwanted audience in theaisle inadvertently hearing them.
                Peoplewherever they are seem to always have something in their face, usually whilethey are trying to accomplish another task or tasks at the same time.  So how was this book going to address what Iwas witnessing in my everyday life?  Ihave to say this book is one everybodyshould read!  It deals with the deeper more prevalentissue, the life of a Christ-follower in an age of technology .
                                From the Garden to the Cityis a book well-founded theologically. The author’s Biblical perspective helps everyone deal with balancingtechnology and being a Christian.  Heexplains profoundly how God creates and uses technology, but not as we think ofit today.  Read this book and travel fromGenesis to the present day for opinions regarding how weshould view the use or non-use of the many mediums available to us.  The following list is a few of the websites cited.  Check them out!
               
                                                                       

Route 66 New Book!


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Title:  Route 66
Author: Krish Kandiah
When I took a look at the title of this book, I was immediately stopped in my tracks.  I thought to myself “I wonder what this book is about?”  Having now read it through, I can tell you it gives us a taste of the Word of God.  Of course, the author couldn’t cover each and every chapter of the whole Bible so it is more an overview that is meant to give us a glimpse of the Bible and leave us hungry for more.
This author wrote the book in a format that can be used individually, in small group settings or even for whole congregations.  His website http://krishk.com/route66/ lists resources for leaders, pastors, and for individuals to use as well.  There are PowerPoint slides, leader guide samples, and much more.  The website http://www.springharvest.org/route66 has resources to download as Spring Harvest has been using Route 66 as the 2011 Event Resources.  So don’t wait to download the material you would like before the year ends!
After each chapter, there is a “Travel Journal” in which the author asks specific questions on one chapter of the Bible.  Should a small group of seekers read this book together, the section entitled “Small Group Study” is very helpful and allows the seekers to deepen their journey.  I love how the author incorporates his life experiences with what we as a Body of Believers can learn about God, us, and each other.  I hope and pray you download the resources even if you don’t plan on using them right away.  It is nice to be prepared so when the Lord directs you to use this book, you have what you need to lead, follow, and learn on the journey.  Enjoy the Route!
                                                                                                                                                       

The authors response and more!!!

Thank you, Lisa. You so encouraged me by contacting me as soon as you were done with the book. The Rankins did all the really hard work, but sometimes it’s difficult to write without feedback. I appreciate you!

If you or your readers want to read the first two chapters of either book absolutely free, they can go here: http://bit.ly/rdRKvp

If they have questions, we could even have a discussion right here! Let’s hear it!


Across the Wide River

Title:  Across the Wide River
By:  Stephanie Reed
I just finished reading a wonderful novel set prior to the beginning of the Civil War.  This novel though is very unique because it is a story about real people who dared to live by faith in Jesus Christ in a way that could have cost them their very lives.  The author did excellent research on a family by the name of Rankin, who served their Lord by saving at least 2000 lives.  They risked their lives not for just anyone, but those who escaped slavery to be free.  Wonder how?
Well, this family became part of the Underground Railroad.  The story is centered on a man known as Lowery.  It is a story of him living each day obedient to his parents, growing up and deciding to join the church, while continuing to search for his call in life.  Lowry views his “failures” in a way most of us even today would measure ours.  While there are some scenes not actually rooted in fact, most of who this man and his family were is very much rooted in history.
The author provides a way to connect with her and welcomes all questions, comments and feedback.  I wrote to her asking a question, not really expecting an immediate response.  I thought I might hear back from her sometime as she would be busy.  It was but a short time later the information she had was sent to me with an invitation to contact her should I desire more.
The historical witness left by this family both encourages and exhorts us to live lives totally surrendered to Him.  You will be able to connect with this author via Face Book, email her at stef.reed@gmail.com or look her page on the World Wide Web: http://www.stephanielreed.com/index.html.
When you are done with this book, know there is a sequel to this story entitled: THE LIGHT ACROSS THE RIVER.   I plan on reading it and hope you all will do the same!
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