Slave by John MacArthur: A Book Review

I recently finished Slave: The Hidden Truth About Your Identity In Christ by John MacArthur.  This is a short review of the book for Booksneeze, a division of Thomas Nelson Publishers that gives books to bloggers for free in exchange for a review.  If you like to read and you are a blogger, you should check it out.  If you like to read and aren’t a blogger, maybe you should consider blogging so you can get free books!

What does it mean to be a Christian?  MacArthur says it in one word: SLAVE.  That’s right, he said it.  MacArthur faces the dirty word head on from a Biblical perspective of our relationship with Jesus Christ.  In doing so, he erases the stigmitism attached with the word for anyone living in our day and age and displays the beauty of our relationship with the One who has set us free from the cruel task master and made us His possession.

While I do not agree with all of MacArthurs theology (i.e. eternal security), I found a lot of good meat in this book.  I appreciate that MacArthur leans heavily on Scripture and draws a lot from voices in church history.  Pick it up here and give it a read.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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Everyone Communicates, Few Connect by John Maxwell

Confession: I read John Maxwell books religiously as a teenager. I bought everyone and read them as quickly as I could, marking the pages until they were a jumbled mess of unrecognizable scribble. Then I stopped. I begin to feel like I was reading the same simple principles over and over and was wasting my time (I was right and wrong.) Everyone Communicates, Few Connect is the first book written by Mr. Maxwell that I have read in several years, and I am glad that I did!

Mr. Maxwell makes a strong case for the distinction between communicating and really connecting. One sentence sums the message of the book up nicely, “Connecting is everything when it comes to communication.” Now, how do we do that? This book is packed full of principles and practices which can be applied at every level of communication; one-on-one, group, and audience.

Whether you are a detail/list person like me, or someone who enjoys stories and illustrations, you will find Everyone Communicates, Few Connect an easy and enjoyable read. And if you study and apply the principles and practices contained in this read, you will be well on your way to really talking instead of just blowing hot air. As you read, you will quickly pick up on your strengths and your weakness for connecting. I was greatly challenged in several areas by this book and I am sure that you will be too.

Thomas Nelson Link

Amazon Link

Disclaimer: Thomas Nelson provided me with a complimentary copy of “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect” by John C.Maxwell. Opinions expressed are my own and not those of Thomas Nelson.

Pulling Revival From My Hat

I am currently reading John Maxwell’s latest book Everyone Communicates Few Connect.  I will be giving a review of the book for Booksneeze this weekend or early next week, but I want to take a moment now to share a brief story that Mr. Maxwell tells and some thoughts that I had.  This what Mr. Maxwell had to say…

“A few years ago, I was being interviewed on a television talk show.  The host held up a couple of my books and said, “John, I’ve read several of your books, and they are all so simple.”  His tone of voice, body language, and mannerisms made it clear to me and the audience that he did not mean it as a compliment!

My response was straightforward: “That’s true.  The principles in my books are simple to understand.  But they are not always simple to apply.”

First of, all I must admit (sorry Mr. Maxwell) that I have been that television talk show host.  I read a lot of Mr. Maxwell’s books  in my teen years and skipped several of his books because I thought they were too simple.  But he is exactly right, it is the application of those principles that is important, and having the discipline to apply the principles is not always easy!

Second, let me apply this to the Church and our desire for revival, victory over sin, and lost souls to be saved.  I think that sometimes, perhaps without realizing it, we look for some magical formula that will bring the results that we are looking for; some complex mashup of the right programs, the right atmosphere, the right charisma, the right social issues, etc.  Instead, the answer is right in front of us in the simple principles taught in the Word of God.

Read & Study your Bible.

Pray.

Fast.

Serve Others.

Worship.

Share the Gospel.

Fairly simple principles to understand.  Not always easy to put into practice.

ABRACADABRA!  Hmm…didn’t work.  I better go pray!

Honor’s Reward

I just finished Honor’s Reward by John Bevere.  This book teaches a principle that is increasingly rare in western culture and, I am sad to say, in many churches as well.

Matthew 10:40-42 serves as a rough outline for the books main points.

Jesus teaches his disciples that they should honor all; the One who sent Him, the prophet, the righteous man, and the little ones.  Bevere makes the parallel to us today showing the importance of giving honor to God, honor  to those that have authority over us, honor to our peers, and honor to those who are under our care.

We are no longer a nation and a society of honor (generally speaking).  There is often a disrespect for the house of God, the man of God, and the Word of God.  Employees constantly complain of the treatment of their employers, employers take advantage of their employees.  Children disobey and disrespect their parents and parents do not properly honor their children according to the Word of God.

Bevere points out, and I believe he is right, that this issue of honor plays a major role in the blessings of God in our lives.  When we show honor to God, to the man of God, to God’s Word, and to our fellow-man, it opens the door for God to work in our lives in the manner which He desires.

Time for an honor check!  Where do you need to do better?  Honor God.  Honor those in authority over you.  Honor your peers.  Honor those under your authority.

Be Blessed.

Be A Lovecat

Love Is The Killer App

Tim Sanders wrote a book WAY back in 2002 that is more true today than it was when it is written.  This is a rare feat in the world of business books.  Many of you have probably read this book, but if not, it would be more than worth your time to pick up a copy (here) and read it.

This book is packed full of practical application which you can utilize whether you are in the business world or a church leader.  The basic premise is in the title; Love (the selfless promotion of the growth of others) is the Killer App (an excellent new idea that either supersedes an existing idea or establishes a new category in its field).  Sanders argues that those of us who use love as a point of differentiation in business will separate ourselves from the crowd.

Sanders will have you purring like a Lovecat.  He is, afterall, the original Lovecat.  What’s a Lovecat?  I’m glad you asked.  A Lovecat is someone who shares their (1) knowledge, (2) network, (3) and compassion with others.  Success in the future (read “today”) will depend on your willingness to share these intangibles.

If you take a look in the biz world today, some of the most successful people are the ones that are bringing Love to the workplace.  They are helping others grow and succeed.  They are giving their knowledge and network away.  They aren’t afraid to be human and show compassion.  That is why the message of this book is so relevant eight years after it was written.

Tim Sanders also blogs. He is constantly adding value.  Check his blog out here.

Spread the word.  Be a Lovecat!