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.”

Markings

What mark will your life leave?

Every life makes a mark on the lives of others. Some lives mark many other lives, some lives mark few. What is even more important than the number of lives marked by yours is the type of mark you leave. Some people mark others with their own personal mark, leaving an impression that lasts a lifetime and seldom much more. Some people mark others with the mark of Christ, hiding behind the cross as the love of Jesus shines through them. They are often forgotten in death and even overlooked in life, but the mark that they leave last for an eternity.

What mark will you make on others? Your mark or His?

He must increase, but I must decrease.

photo credit: Twistiti via photo pin cc

Body of Christ, Who’s In?

“R only Acts 2 believers a part of the body of Christ?”

This is the question that was posed on Twitter by a friend of mine. Although the question was not directed to me, my wheels immediately began spinning.

Photo by bemky

I’m not sure that the tweet expressed my friend’s true question. My response to the question as stated would be, Yes, only those who believe Acts 2 are a part of the body of Christ. In fact, I believe that anyone who rejects any portion of Scripture would be exempt from the body of Christ. It makes no difference if it is Acts 2 or Isaiah 48.

However, I don’t believe that this is the question my friend was asking. I believe he was asking if those who do not interpret and apply Acts 2 as Apostolic Pentecostals do are a part of the body of Christ. In order to answer that question, we must answer the question, How does someone become a part of the body of Christ? The Word of God speaks a clear answer.

We are baptized into the body.

“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” – 1 Corinthians 12:13

The Greek preposition translated by is en – the same preposition is used in Acts 1:5 (ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.) We could translate this verse, “With one Spirit are we all baptized into one body…” When we are baptized in the Spirit we receive Christ into our lives and become a part of the body of Christ (read also Ephesians 2:13-22).

This is exactly what happened in Acts 2 when Peter stood up and delivered his sermon. When the people were convicted and had faith to accept the sacrifice of Jesus he commanded them to “Repent and be baptized…and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Spirit)” (Acts 2:38).

That being said, let me add one more thing, and I believe this will get down to the real issue that my friend was concerned about when he posed his question.

Only those who have believed and applied Acts 2 are a part of the body of Christ. However, we must be careful not to have an “us versus them” mentality. What if Peter would have had an “us versus them” mentality concerning Cornelius? What if Aquila and Priscilla would have had an “us versus them” mentality concerning Apollos? This world is full of people like Cornelius and Apollos. They love the LORD and are sincere in their desire to please Him. They need someone to preach the truth to them that they may be a part of the body of Christ.

Outlast the Stars

All Christians and all churches are engaged in one of three activities: guarding the dead past, creating fleshly trifles that will perish, or working in cooperation with the Holy Spirit in the constant creation of eternal treasure that will outlast stars. – Tozer

This quote has been on my mind and in my spirit for a while. It has caused me to take an honest look at my life direction. It is an irritant that is buried deep down in my soul and I am hoping it produces a pearl.

Photo by Adam Foster

Which activity are we engaged in?

Are we content with guarding a dead past? I am thankful for every blessing, every miracle, and every soul saved. I thank God for every great revival that has swept through this world but I am not satisfied with staying here. I’m not satisfied with guarding the gift that God gave us as if someone could come and take it away. He didn’t give us the gift to guard it, He gave us the gift so that we could share it. We must move forward from here.

However, we must be careful that we don’t fall into the second group; a group that is especially prevalent today. The plans that God has for us, the work He has called us to do, the revival that He wants to send, cannot be sustained by our own talent and creativity. Yes, God gave us the talent. Yes, God gave us the creativity. But these gifts can only be maximized when used under the direction of the Holy Spirit. We cannot go forward without His leading.

I’m not interested in staying where we are and I’m not interested in moving forward on our own. I’m listening for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Where He leads me, I will follow. It is my prayer that as I go, His will is accomplished and His Kingdom is advanced through me.

I’m going to be a part of something that outlasts the stars because I am going with Him.

Extraordinary

In Extraordinary, John Bevere unpacks the truths from God’s Word which show God’s desire for His children to live an abundant life. We are not called to the “status quo.” John shows us exactly what it takes to move beyond an ordinary existence and to take hold of an extraordinary life. Prepare to be challenged and changed if you read this book!

If you have ever asked the question, “Is it possible to live a life free from sin?” this book is for you. If you find yourself constantly battling the same sinful habits, this book is for you. If you want to live life in the power that God has given and not through your own effort and ability, this book is for you. If you are looking to live a life fully immersed in the extraordinary, then this book is for you.

The truth is, as John points out, “many of us have been taught that grace is an unmerited gift and by it we were given eternal life in heaven. However, what’s been neglected in many evangelical circles is the understanding of how grace provides the power to live – extraordinarily – a successful life that pleases God before eternity.”

How is this possible? Grace. “Grace gives us the ability to exceed our own ability. It gives us the ability to live extraordinarily!” In fact, God’s expectations of those filled with His Spirit are greater than His expectations were of those who lived under the law because of His empowering grace.

Where does this grace come from? Faith. “We have access by faith into this grace in which we stand” (Romans 5:2). “Faith deeply believes God will do what He says, and it subsequently produces (both) words of agreement and actions of obedience.” Genuine faith speaks and acts on what it believes. “Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Without faith and grace, we live in the ordinary, not the extraordinary.”

How do we have access to this faith through which we receive grace? The Holy Spirit. “We resist carnality through the power imparted by the Holy Spirit into our spirit.” Even our mortal bodies are restored to (overcoming) life by the power of the His Spirit dwelling in us (Romans 8:10-11).

Live in the power of the Holy Spirit; live Extraordinarily!

Did Zacchaeus Know His Name?

Zacchaeus: meaning “Pure and Righteous.”

When I review his life I have to wonder; did Zacchaeus know his name? His parents named him in hope that his lifestyle would match his name. However, Zacchaeus had long forgotten what it was to be pure and righteous in his dealings with his fellow-man.

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A tax collector by trade, Zacchaeus had compromised his integrity until he became calloused to the virtues that comprised the meaning of his name. Gathering from the poor, enriching the enemy; his habit was to take more than was owed that he might line his pockets with the silver of his own people. Certainly, Zacchaeus did not know his own name!

Being small of stature and few of friends, he was relegated to perching in a sycamore tree if he was to see what all the fuss was about in Jericho. As Jesus passed under the tree he looked up and called, “Zaccheaus, come quickly! I must eat at your house today.”

“What is this? He knows my name?”

Yes, Zacchaeus, he knows your name; even when you have forgotten. He looks beyond the person that you have become as a result of the decisions you have made. He sees beyond your faults and failures. He looks past the outward man, hated by your neighbors. His gaze is fixed on that which is beyond the blood; the man who He has called you to be and He says, “I must come into your house today.”

And when He comes in, he will help you remember your name.