Let’s face it guys, we never want to feel incompetent concerning anything we do. In fact, when we are not good at something, we often ignore it to focus on our areas of expertise. Perhaps this is a reason some men struggle in their marriages? How many among us can say we have mastered the art of winning, and keeping, our wife’s heart?
However, marriage is not a hobby or our latest business idea. We cannot afford to focus our attention elsewhere when our marriage is less than what it should be. We have to be intentional; even radical.
Regi Campbell’s book provides more than a strategy. It offers very practical advice which comes from real-life experience. This book was born out of a broken marriage restored. And regardless of where your marriage is today, there is hope for a happy and healthy future if you become a radical husband.
This is a short book and easy to read. It is full of practical advice that is immediately actionable. I would rate this book three stars out of five if I was only considering the quality of writing and publication. However, due to the content, I would highly recommend for all men who desire a better marriage.
Ministry Without All The Answers
I enjoy reading books that go against the natural grain of my personality. They challenge me and give me a fresh perspective. For me, this was one of those books. My personality is very analytical, process driven, and task-oriented. Most books on pastoral ministry fit well with what my personality naturally gravitates to as they deal with the process and programs to grow a church or the principles of leadership to lead a congregation. This book, however, deals with the heart of pastoral ministry.
The focus of the book is not what a pastor does so much as what a pastor is. It is relational. It is practical, although it doesn’t give you ten steps or an outline. It is about being, not about doing. This is a side of pastoral ministry, I would dare say, we all need to pay more attention to; for our sake and for the sake of our family and the precious people we pastor.
I will leave you with a few quotes that I thought especially notable and a recommendation to read the book if you desire to have the heart of a pastor. [Buy the book on Amazon.]
The pastoral ministry is a life, not a technology.
My life as a pastor is far more than the sum of the tasks that I carry out. It is a call from God that involves my whole life.
Task-driven ministry elevates the method above the Spirit. It subjugates our life with Christ to management technologies. Our day is divided into hours and tasks rather than opportunities to do God’s will. The problem is that when I fine-tune my week I am out of harmony with the kingdom of God.
The pastoral ministry cannot be employer-driven, trend-driven, or task-driven. Pastoral ministry must be following Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ called me to this work, and following Him must be integral to realizing His calling.
Jesus understood from the beginning that His was a life of sacrifice. His life flowed toward the cross at all times. He never climbed ladders of success. The devil showed Him plenty. The people begged Him to climb. But Jesus rejected ladders and consistently chose the downward road to sacrifice.
The Apache Wars: The Hunt for Geronimo, The Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started the Longest War in American History
It appears that the length of the title and subtitle of a book is directly correlated to how long it will take me to read the book. I have been working on this one for months. Not because it is poorly written; for the history enthusiast it is thrilling. Perhaps the length is partly to blame as it is four hundred plus pages. Let’s blame my busy schedule and bad habit of starting twenty-three books at a time.
Paul Hutton is considered one of the great scholars of western Americana and he writes with great knowledge and detail. He brings every story to life on the pages. This is the story of the Apache’s long fight against Mexico and the United States with a focus on several of the major players. You certainly did not learn it all in history class.
If you enjoy American history, you will enjoy this book. If you enjoy tales of bravery, you will enjoy this book. If you enjoy the quest to understand the deep ironies of history and how they always seem to repeat themselves, you will enjoy this book.
This book is a good study on the source of authority, the purpose of authority, and the application of authority in prayer. The author gives good, Biblical principles for utilizing authority in prayer. He issues a challenge that to Christians today to pray with more authority and use prayer as a weapon in spiritual realms.
I do need to say that much of the book is personal stories and examples of the power of prayer from the author’s life. While I do believe that, through prayer, the types of claims the author makes are entirely possible, I cannot verify the validity of his personal stories. I wish that the author would have spent more time proving his points and building his case from the Word of God which is entirely valid and cannot be disproven.
If you pick this book up, please be prepared to “spit out the bones.” There is some meat in there that will make it worth your time.
I chose this book from the review site because it was a best-seller and it is about a topic that interests me. Anyone who knows me well knows that tidy and I are very good friends. And so it was with great anticipation that began reading. Three months later, here I am fulfilling my obligation to post a review in exchange for receiving a free copy of the book.
It isn’t a bad book. But it is kind of weird. The author often treats inanimate objects as if they were living beings. Giving advice like, “Greet your house.” No thanks. And I must admit, the suggestions for tidying up given here seem obsessive even to me.
That said, if you struggle with keeping your things tidy or you simply want to improve, you will certainly find some nuggets in the book to inspire and encourage. The process can really be simplified into two words: discard and organize. Do it once. Do it thoroughly. Maintain.
It’s spring! Get to cleaning.
The Daniel Fast has experienced a trend of sorts in recent years. The Christian book market has been flooded with resources on fasting and healthy living, many of them focusing on the Daniel fast. It is a good thing for us to focus on fasting, the often neglected spiritual discipline. And while I believe in the spiritual power of the Daniel fast, and the health benefits, let us not neglect the forms of fasting that our flesh doesn’t enjoy so much.
I now many people who involve themselves in a yearly 21-day or 40-day Daniel fast and have seen great answers to prayer and spiritual growth. The benefits that the fast has on their health is also significant. I even know of some who have decided to follow the guidelines of the Daniel fast more permanently specifically for the health benefits. Whatever your level of engagement, this book is a great resource.
The book includes three parts:
The Fast – This part explores different types of fasting, the origin of the Daniel fast, and how it can impact your life.
The Focus – This part provides 21 devotionals to feed on God’s Word while you are fasting.
The Food – This part contains more than 100 nutritious, recipes that follow the guidelines of the Daniel fast.
This book is a great resource that allows you to spend less time focused on what to eat and more time focused on the Lord.
The author also writes a helpful blog – http://www.ultimatedanielfast.com.
What’s the best book that you should read next? I would have to suggest Matt Perman’s What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done.
This is the most important productivity book that I have ever read. It approaches productivity from a Christian view in light of eternity and exposes the global mission of the individual.
This introduction offers this thesis:
“The essence of gospel driven productivity is this: we are to use all that we have, in all areas of life, for the good of others, to the glory of God-and that this is the most exciting life. To be gospel driven Christian means to be on the lookout to do good for others to the glory of God, in all areas of life, and to do this with creativity and competence. Further, being gospel driven also means knowing how to get things done so that we can serve others in a way that really helps, in all areas of life, without making ourselves miserable in the process to overload, overwhelmed, and hard to keep up systems.”
Matt Perman doesn’t just give us a philosophy of productivity. He gives us a practical process. Like David Allen’s Getting Things Done, He helps you build an entire productivity system that can be adjusted to suit your personality and work style.
Perhaps my favorite thing about this book is the author’s use of the Scriptures in proving his productivity philosophy and process. Never have I seen the topic of productivity so closely tied to the Gospel. It is God’s desire for His people to be productive in expanding the Kingdom of God.
Greg McKeown pulled up a chair next to me, looked at my calendar, and read my mail. At least, that is what it felt like. His book met me right where I live. And I would guess that the state that I live in is not so different from the state you live in. The state of panic? The state of overwhelm?
Okay, it may not be that bad. But we can’t deny the pressures of the fast-paced, high-demand world that we live in. We live in a world with seemingly limitless options. The flood of inputs and possibilities can be paralyzing. If we aren’t paralyzed, then we likely find ourselves caught trying to manage it all.
In Essentialism, Greg McKeown gives us an alternative strategy for facing all of life’s demands. He calls it “the disciplined pursuit of less.” It is the art of discerning the trivial many from the vital few. When we give ourselves permission to stop trying to do it all and we stop saying “yes” to everyone, we can make our highest contribution to the things that really matter.
I want to HIGHLY recommend this book. You need the focus that employing it’s strategies will bring. Life is short. Much of what takes our attention means nothing in the end. Time is the one thing that you can never get back. We need to invest it in what is essential.
I also want to add that Greg and his team have done a wonderful job of making this book appealing to the senses. The pictures and diagrams are playful. The texture of the book is amazing. I enjoyed carrying it around. In fact, I should warn you that if you pick up a hard copy of this book, you will have a hard time putting it down.
Every person on earth has a desire to understand their purpose and place in this life. In The Deeper Life Daniel Henderson identifies and explores the “eight vital longings of your soul,” establishing the questions and providing guidelines for arriving at the appropriate answers. Those eight longings expressed in the form of a questions are:
- Who Is God? (My Theology)
- Who Am I? (My Identity)
- Why Am I Here? (My Purpose)
- What Really Matters? (My Values)
- What Shall I Do? (My Priorities)
- How Shall I Do It? (My Goals)
- When Shall I Do It? (My Time)
- How Will I Finish? (My Legacy)
This book is divided into two parts. The first part is very informational. Henderson reviews these eight longings, giving guidelines to properly answering each question and guiding the individual to arrive at answers that are uniquely their own. As you read this section you will discover that your theology is the basis of your identity. Your identity is expressed through a clear purpose. Your purpose is guided by values. Your values determine your priorities. Your priorities are implemented by your goals. Your goals are accomplished by your stewardship of time. And all of this, when understood clearly and embraced daily, results in a legacy that really matters.
The second part of the book is very practical. It is the application of all that was learned in parts one. Henderson guides the reader through a series of exercises to answer the eight questions satisfying the eight vital longings of the soul. The combination of information and practical application in this book make it a wonderful read for anyone who struggles to find their identity, understand their purpose, and establish and accomplish their goals. When we prayerfully answer these questions we begin to understand and fulfill our life’s purpose.
Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review of the book. All opinions are mine.
Dave Ramsey has given us another great financial resource for educating ourselves and our families in the basics of financial stewardship. He may even be out-shined this time by his daughter, Rachel Cruze. She delivers sound, practical financial principles in true Ramsey fashion. Dave and Rachel write this book together in a format that makes for a fast-paced, enjoyable read. They deliver practical, age-appropriate tips for teaching your children the importance and practice of financial stewardship based on Biblical principles.
Each chapter tackles a clearly defined subject:
- Generational Handoff
All of the practical teaching is peppered with often humorous stories from Rachel’s “growing up” years. And just wait until you read what Dave’s son accomplished with the 401DAVE plan.
I highly recommend you read this book, practice the principles it teaches, and teach them to your kids. If you do, you are certain to change your family tree.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers 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 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”