Book Review: The Power of a Half Hour by Tommy Barnett

Summary in a sentence: “Your half hours direct and shape your future.”

Tommy Barnett points out the incredible power of investing small amounts of time to get huge returns. Time is the “most significant nonrenewable resource” that we have. Each day that passes leaves us with less time. Time is a gift from God which He intends for us to invest carefully, intentionally, wisely, and productively.

“You will never get lost time back–and nobody can eliminate the results of time well-invested.”

The thirty short chapters in this book are grouped into categories that focus charting your life path, strengthening your faith, building your character, advancing your dreams, improving your relationships, and changing the world. Mr. Barnett shows how all of this can be accomplished thirty minutes at a time.

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The book offers some good, practical instruction. By no means does it exhaust each topic, but the point is to demonstrate the difference a small amount of time given regularly to any area of life needing improvement can make a big difference.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is striving for growth in any area of life. Especially if you ever feel overwhelmed by what seems to be insurmountable odds. Mr. Barnett will help you break down every obstacle and attack it strategically.

Book Review: Seven Men by Eric Metaxas

Seven Men: And The Secret Of Their Greatness is a collection of bite size biographies on seven of the most influential men who have lived. The common thread that runs through them all is the bravery with which each man stood up for what he believed. None of them were perfect, but each one fought in his own manner for the greater good.

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Metaxas tells each story with an irresistible flow that will keep you turning the pages and wishing there was more at the end of each chapter. He is witty and humorous while shedding light on the lessons we can learn from those who have walked before us.

The seven men you will read about are:

  1. George Washington
  2. William Wilberforce
  3. Eric Liddell
  4. Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  5. Jackie Robinson
  6. Pope John Paul II
  7. Charles W. Colson

I highly recommend this book and especially to young men who desire to make a difference in the world. Come and read of the sacrifice and determination of those who already have.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® 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.”

Book Review: One Perfect Life by John MacArthur

I recently found a great study tool created by one of my favorite authors, John MacArthur. I wasn’t quite certain what I was getting when I received my copy of One Perfect Life in the mail, but I was pleasantly surprised.

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The concept of the book is a blending of all the Scriptures concerning the life of Christ. It is part Bible, part commentary with an interesting twist. MacArthur has compiled relating Scriptures chronologically to tell the Gospel story with blended strokes. The short chapters are arranged by events in the life of Christ and pull from every book of the Bible that tells that portion of the story or contains supporting material. It layers the four Gospels on top on each other to see a more complete picture.

This book will be a regularly used tool in my study library. Any time I am preaching or teaching from a specific event in the life of Christ, I will certainly use this study tool to understand the event from the viewpoint of each Scripture in which it is told.

I would highly recommend this book to any preacher, Bible teacher, or anyone who wants a fresh, Bible-based look at the life of Jesus Christ. Thank you, Mr. MacArthur for creating this wonderful tool!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com 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.”

Book Review: 20,000 Days and Counting by Robert D. Smith

Teach us to number our DAYS, that we may gain a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12)

How old are you? I am 10, 307 today. Tomorrow I will be 10, 308. I’m not the oldest person alive, I’m simply changing how I measure the length of my life. We measure our lives in years but the Scriptures clearly teach the wisdom in numbering our days.

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This is the powerful practice that author Robert D. Smith conveys in 20,000 Days and CountingI have read many books on purpose, goal-setting, and time-management but the impact of this concise book was much deeper than others. It is written so that it will take the average person about an hour to read but you will want to read it twice and slow down to let every sentence sink in.

The chapter titled Motivation is a Myth (just one page) is worth the price of this book.

I would highly recommend this book, especially if you find yourself in a rut. You will be encouraged to remember how short and fragile life is and how important it is to employ every day for the purpose God has intended for your life.

Today is a gift. Make sure you celebrate it by doing something important and worth-while.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com 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.”

Book Review: GlobeQuake by Wallace Henley

The subtitle of this incredible book caught my attention; “Living in the Unshakeable Kingdom while the world falls apart.”

Wallace Henley has worked for more than three decades in the fields of journalism, government, and the church. His experience and unique insight shine through in this work. This is not a book of doom and gloom, but of hope for the citizens of God’s unshakeable kingdom.

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Mr. Henley discusses the causes and effects of a shaken world, the need for a stable people and a stable church, and outlines a strategic, Biblical plan for obtaining and keeping stability in six spheres of life; person, church, family, education, governance, and business/marketplace.

This is by far one of the best books I read in 2012 and I would highly recommend it for every Christian leader whether you be in the sphere of the church, the family, or business. I would also highly recommend this book for anyone who may struggle with anxiety or fear due to current events. There is a place of stability and hope!

Buy a copy here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com 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.”

Book Review: Relentless by John Bevere

I recently finished Relentless by John Bevere. I have always enjoyed the author’s writing style and why I don’t always agree with his theology, I deeply appreciate his defense of Scripture and desire to communicate the truths of God’s Word.

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This book is really about the empowerment of God’s grace. We tend to think of grace only in relation to our sin but grace is meant for so much more. Grace is not only the power to overcome sin but it is the power to live an overcoming life as a warrior for the Kingdom of God.

One of the highlights of the book is the chapter on humility. We often think of pride as the opposite of humility but as the author points out, Habakkuk 2:4 portrays pride and faith as opposites. “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by faith.” This should show us how God links faith and humility. Some hide their pride and disbelief behind a shadow false humility.

A perfect example is the ten spies of the promised land. “If the ten spies had humbly relied on God’s promises, they would have moved out and conquered the land. They would have submitted to the Word of the Lord rather than their limited strength and human reasoning, and they they would have been submitted to one another – under the same mission.”

True humility is absolute obedience and dependance on God.

For me, the whole book was worth these few paragraphs at the end.

Sadly, I have witnessed our spiritual (scriptural) foundations shifting to accommodate the trends of the times. It’s gotten so out of control that minister of a large church can stand before his congregation, declare he’s a homosexual, and receive a standing ovation. Another can declare it’s no longer God’s will to heal, and his people believe him instead of God’s Word. Another can author a book declaring that all humanity is going to eventually enter heaven – that no person will burn in eternal fire – and he remains a ‘rock star’ in Christendom. Another can challenge the virgin birth and the return of Jesus Christ and still be celebrated as a leader of the Christian faith. More and more sad scenarios such as these play our among “Christians” each day.

Some recent surveys may help us understand these ludicrous shifts. According to one national survey, only 46 percent of ‘born-again Christians’ believe in absolute moral truth. More than 50 percent of ‘evangelical Christians” believe people can attain heaven through avenues other than the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Only 40 percent of ‘born-again Christians’ believe Satan is a real force. How can this be? The answer is found in Paul’s words to Timothy: “They will not endure sound doctrine” – we are not remaining relentless in truth.

More and more we are hearing and declaring a non transformational gospel. Its core message is unfaithful to the core doctrine of God’s Word, as in “Jesus died for our sins to get us to heaven, but we are human, and God understands our different vices and sexual preferences.” A popular teaching of late in the removal of the need for repentance from sin. Multitudes of believers are gleefully told that there’s no need to embrace godly sorrow over disobedience or to confess it to God because sin has already been covered by grace. I’ve heard men and women who embrace this teach boast of how simple, fresh, and liberating the message is. But if simple, fresh, and liberating war the real indicators of truth, then any doctrine that gratifies the flesh would be truth! If it’s an accurate teaching that Christians no longer need to repent, then Jesus Christ was way off base when he told five of the seven churches to “repent” in the book of Revelation.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from bloggingforbooks.com 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.”

Living Close To God: Book Review

Gene Edwards has, for a long time, been one of my favorite authors. If you have never read A Tale of Three Kings or The Prisoner in the Third Cell, do yourself a favor and move them to the top of your reading list. Both books are quick reads that will deeply impact your life.

In Living Close to God, Edwards writes of his personal struggle with feeling like a failure at personal devotions and the solution he found. Hint: it wasn’t to try harder to pray and read the Bible. If you have struggled to have a consistent time with the Lord or found that your mind is constantly wandering during prayer and Bible reading, you will benefit from the insights in this book.

Edwards points out the complexity we often bring into our relationship with God when it is really much more simple. He reminds us that, “From the day Jesus was baptized until today, the majority of believers have been illiterate. They could not read. So the solution must be simple.” He asks, “Does a Christian with a college degree stand a better chance of having a meaningful spiritual life than the Christian who cannot read?”

Jesus’ audience was 98 percent illiterate, and He gave no indication that He was planning on a future church filled with an intellectual, spiritually elite group of followers. Jesus’ teachings were consistently simple no matter who was in the audience.

The one thing about this book that I struggled with was Edwards’ view on the spiritual disciplines of prayer and Bible study. It seems to me that (on some level) Edwards has dismissed these disciplines as unimportant in the Christian life. I disagree. While I do believe that it is important that we are mindful of the Lord throughout the day, as Edwards encourages, I also believe in the need for dedicated times of focused prayer and Bible study.

I received “Living Close To God: When You’re Not Good At It” by Gene Edwards from Blogging for Books / WaterBrookMultnomah Press in exchange for my review, of which there was no pressure one way or the other regarding how I reviewed it.