This book is indeed a tale. It is a dramatic re-telling of the stories of Saul, David and Absalom. There are two parts to this story. Both parts have i...moreThis book is indeed a tale. It is a dramatic re-telling of the stories of Saul, David and Absalom. There are two parts to this story. Both parts have important and valuable lessons that have such depth they cannot be fully discovered in one sitting. Then the contrast between the two parts adds even greater depth, value and essential lessons. The first part follows the tale of David as a young man and Saul as king of Israel. In this part of the drama Edwards challenges us to face the King Saul within all of us. He also helps us to understand how to deal with King Sauls in our lives so that we do not become King Saul II. The second part follows the tale of David as king of Israel and Absalom as a young man. Here Edwards gives insight into the Absalom within all of us, the rebellion, the ambition and the dreams. He also helps us to understand how to deal with Absaloms in our lives so that we do not become Absaloms or Sauls. This book is not a meaty in-depth Bible study, but do not let the light story telling fool you. There are powerful lessons in here that can change lives. Powerful lessons that every Christian will need at some point in their life. -Jerry
“What does this world need: gifted men and women, outwardly empowered? Or individuals who are broken, inwardly transformed?” -Gene Edwards, page 42(less)
For several years I have wanted to read The Case For Christmas by Lee Strobel. I finally had the opportunity and want to share my experience with you....moreFor several years I have wanted to read The Case For Christmas by Lee Strobel. I finally had the opportunity and want to share my experience with you.
The Case For Christmas is a fairly short book (96 pages) and is an easy read even though the content is not at all simplistic. Using his investigative reporting background, Lee Strobel seeks to answer the question, “Can we really trust the biographies of Jesus to tell us the true story of His birth, life, teachings, miracles, death, and ultimate resurrection from the dead?”
This is the first book I have read by Lee Strobel and I was pleasantly surprised by his style. I expected it to be light fluffy reading, but found myself being challenged to think logically and critically through the evidence. He does not just write his own opinions, but he interviews experts in each field for a thorough analysis of the Christmas story.
The book is divided into four chapters, each examining a certain type of evidence. First he looks at the eyewitness evidence, which is the Gospels. This is the chapter I enjoyed the most. I found myself amazed again at the credibility of the Bible.
The second type of evidence he examines is scientific evidence. He looks at the archeological record to confirm or refute the Gospel accounts. In the third chapter he seeks to discover if Jesus had the attributes of God. The final chapter deals with the prophecies of the Old Testament, demonstrating how Jesus is the only person who has fulfilled all the things foretold about the Messiah.
I was encouraged by this book, reminded of the surety of our Bible, and edified in the faith. I would recommend this book to any believer who wants to be strengthened in their belief in Jesus Christ. I would also recommend this book for the unbeliever who is willing to honestly examine the evidence of Jesus Christ.(less)
Joshua Harris normally writes relationship books and is well known for the book I Kissed Dating Goodbye. In Stop Dating The Church he uses the same ty...moreJoshua Harris normally writes relationship books and is well known for the book I Kissed Dating Goodbye. In Stop Dating The Church he uses the same type of style and approach to challenge the reader in their relationship with a local church.
What type of relationship does God want you to have with a local body of believers? Joshua starts out the book looking at some parallels between dating and the way many Christians attend church. There is a great danger for the Christian who is not committed to the church.
The book goes on to examine what God thinks about the church. The obvious connection being that since the church is very important to God, the church should be very important to us as well. We are to have the mind of Christ, and He loved the church and gave Himself for her (Ephesians 5).
Another subject that the book deals with is individualism within the church. This was a thought-provoking chapter for me. Often we think that we do not need the church. As long as I am ok with Jesus I do not need anything else. We forget that the church was created by Jesus. That He created the church because we need other believers in our life, we need to serve one another and minister to one another’s needs.
The next chapters go through some important things to look for within a church and how to prepare yourself to get more out of your church experience. All in all, Joshua deals with some very important topics in this book. Although the model of ministry that Joshua follows is slightly different it some ways, every point was worth reading and praying through. I think that every believer could be blessed, encouraged and challenged by this book.
Hebrews 10:24-25, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”(less)
This book is an amazing true story of God’s provision and protection for one family during World War II. Franz and Helene Hasel were Seventh Day Adven...moreThis book is an amazing true story of God’s provision and protection for one family during World War II. Franz and Helene Hasel were Seventh Day Adventists who lived in Germany. They were committed to honoring God by keeping the Sabbath and obeying the dietary regulations of the Old Testament.
Franz was drafted into the German military at the onset of World War II and assigned to a bridge building company. He was on the front lines, and His faith and commitment to God were tested severely. Susi tells how her father survived and was able to remain faithful to his beliefs. Time and again God miraculously protected Franz through the worst circumstances!
While Franz was on the front lines, Helene had her hands full taking care of their four children. Food was rationed, supplies were low, the city was bombed, there was pressure to join the Nazi party, and many more life-threatening challenges. Helene and the children also learned to trust God and watched Him provide for them and protect them supernaturally.
I was blessed and encouraged by this book that reminded me that our amazing God is able to take care of His people in ways we cannot imagine. There are unspeakable atrocities committed during World War II, but this book does a good job of focusing on the work of God and not describing the horrific details of war.
Do we dare to actually model our lives after Jesus? Here is a better question, do we dare not to model ourselves after Jesus? Jesus calls us to follow...moreDo we dare to actually model our lives after Jesus? Here is a better question, do we dare not to model ourselves after Jesus? Jesus calls us to follow His example, which is radically different and contrary to what we are used to. Gayle does a masterful job of drawing out deep heart issues and practical life issues to challenge us. Jesus’ example is so simple, and yet these points will stretch us to the limit if we seriously consider following Him. Applying these truths will require a transformation of our lives from top to bottom, from work to family, from leisure to service. Are you ready to be challenged to the core? Are you ready to put into practice the truths that Jesus taught? Jesus humbled Himself. He did not lord over others (even though He had the right to). Jesus lived as an example and served His followers. Jesus did not force people to follow, but took a position of lowliness, last or least. Through it all Jesus fully obeyed the Father and kept His heart pure. Although this example seems way beyond our reach, Gayle helps us to understand what each one really means for us today. He delivers solid, simple, powerful application for living the Jesus style. -Jerry “The world has seen no power greater than that of Jesus, and the church exercises no power greater than that of living and loving lifestyle of Jesus” (Gayle Erwin, page 162)(less)
Fantastic book! I thoroughly enjoyed this book by Lee Strobel. I like his investigative journalist approach to topics, with solid reasons and sound lo...moreFantastic book! I thoroughly enjoyed this book by Lee Strobel. I like his investigative journalist approach to topics, with solid reasons and sound logic. In this book, Lee sets out to investigate the claims about Jesus by critics and skeptics. Is what the church teaches about Jesus reasonable? Or has it all been proven false by modern scholarship? How can we know the REAL Jesus? Lee tackles six challenges to the church’s teaching about Jesus.
1. Scholars are uncovering a radically different Jesus in ancient documents just as credible as the four gospels. 2. The Bible’s portrait of Jesus can’t be trusted. 3. New explanations have refuted Jesus’ resurrection. 4. Christianity’s beliefs about Jesus were copied from pagan religions. 5. Jesus was an imposter who failed to fulfill the Messianic prophecies. 6. People should be free to pick and choose what to believe about Jesus. Christianity is a reasonable faith, with logically sound reasons for believing the truth about Jesus! The evidence is solid and overwhelming, the REAL Jesus can be known, and salvation is found only in Him.
This book by Charles Swindoll is an in-depth study of the book of Nehemiah. Swindoll begins the book with the background and overview of Nehemiah’s wo...moreThis book by Charles Swindoll is an in-depth study of the book of Nehemiah. Swindoll begins the book with the background and overview of Nehemiah’s work in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. He follows Nehemiah’s three different roles: Cup bearer, builder and governor. Swindoll considers the prayer life of the cup bearer. He digs deep into the story to uncover the powerful principles that Nehemiah lived by as he waited and prayed for Jerusalem. Did you know that he waited and prayed for four months before the king gave him the approval to go to Jerusalem? Next Swindoll considers Nehemiah the builder. We have much to learn from Nehemiah from his example in building. He models for us how to handle criticism, strong opposition, threats, discouragement and issues of sin. The final role that Swindoll examines is Nehemiah as the governor. How a leader handles promotion and authority is even more important than how a leader handles difficulty. Nehemiah used, but did not abuse his authority. Nehemiah did not just build a wall, but he helped bring about spiritual revival to the people. -Jerry
“What do we mean when we use the word leadership? If I were asked to define it in one single word, the word would be ‘influence.’ You lead someone to the measure you influence him.” -Charles Swindoll(less)
Holiness is often equated with legalism in our minds. We think of it as strict rules, lists of what you can or cannot do, and guilt and condemnation f...moreHoliness is often equated with legalism in our minds. We think of it as strict rules, lists of what you can or cannot do, and guilt and condemnation for missing the mark. Holiness is actually about relationship with God and living in that relationship. Holiness is about grace, mercy and love, as well as purity. Understanding this brings great refreshment to the soul!
This is the first book that I have read from J.I. Packer, so I was not sure what to expect. From this book I would describe his writing as very thorough and meaty. He goes through the subject of holiness with great detail and care. Breaking down our misconceptions and providing the Biblical foundation for truth about holiness. This is not a light and fluffy read.(less)
I enjoy having my heart and life challenged by the Word of God, so I loved this book! The challenge presented in this book is to reverse the neglect o...moreI enjoy having my heart and life challenged by the Word of God, so I loved this book! The challenge presented in this book is to reverse the neglect of the Holy Spirit. We believe in the Holy Spirit, we know about the Holy Spirit, but do we allow the Holy Spirit to fill and overflow our lives? As Christians our lives are often not much different than before we received Jesus, and not much different than the world around us. Yet as we look at what the Bible has to say about the Holy Spirit, it is clear that His impact in our life should be dramatic. Do we really believe that the Father gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask? Let us ask then, and live and walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. Francis Chan does a great job sharing the role that the Holy Spirit wants to have in our lives every day. This book is full of practical challenges and exhortations, to ask and to allow the Holy Spirit to have full reign of our whole lives. We need to rely upon the Holy Spirit for every aspect of our day. We must look to Him for strength, direction, and vision as we shop, work, raise children, make decisions, drive, etc. We must move beyond a theological understanding of the Holy Spirit, and move into the practical living in the Holy Spirit. The fruit of this kind of life will be radical, and without human explanation. Do you possess the fruit of the Spirit to a supernatural extent? Jesus expressed to His disciples that the work of the Holy Spirit within them would be far better than having Jesus personally beside them. Since the Holy Spirit is so important to the Christian life, let us not neglect Him. Instead, let us invite Him to lead us, empower us, and glorify God through us.
Pastor Chuck Smith has been used by God in a mighty way. This is his life story which records Pastor Chuck telling the amazing work that God has done...morePastor Chuck Smith has been used by God in a mighty way. This is his life story which records Pastor Chuck telling the amazing work that God has done in him, as well as through him. All in all it is a testimony of the grace of God.
Chuck’s journey began long before he began pastoring the little church called Calvary Chapel. As a teenager he heard the call of God to go into ministry.
He attended Bible college, where he met and married Kay. And then went on to pastor many different churches in California and Arizona over a 17 year period. Did you know that Pastor Chuck pastored two different churches right here in Corona, CA?
During this time of ministry God taught him the essential truths that his ministry at Calvary Chapel came to be founded upon. Chuck shares how he learned to teach the Bible chapter by chapter and verse by verse, how important the grace of God is, and how God provides where He guides.
Chuck then shares about the work God did at Calvary Chapel during the Jesus movement. He tells the story of watching the hippies and praying for them, and then meeting one for the first time.
Calvary Chapel has grown tremendously and touched many lives with the Gospel and the simple teaching of God’s Word. This is the story of a man who had much smaller goals, but was changed and used by God in a radical way.
The church desperately needs good leaders, but what makes a good leader? In this book Warren Wiersbe shares what Christian leadership is all about usi...moreThe church desperately needs good leaders, but what makes a good leader? In this book Warren Wiersbe shares what Christian leadership is all about using the Bible and his vast experience in churches and ministry.
This book is meant to be a sequel to the well-known and loved book On Being A Servant Of God by Wiersbe. In that book we have a powerful exhortation to serve God’s people and maintain a servant’s heart in ministry. In this book we have a broader look at the responsibilities, character and Biblical description of a Christian leader.
Wiersbe has an amazing style which makes his points easy to understand. He weaves into the chapters illustrations, stories and examples that help the truths sink in as well as give us a sense of their practical applications. He does not just write about theories or ideals, but he helps us to see what it looks like in a godly leader.
Wiersbe addresses topics such as discipline, opportunities and problems, personal giftings, authority, responsibility, accountability, humility, delegation, new methods, opposition and much more.
I strongly recommend this book for all Christian leaders, whether you are leading within the church or somewhere else. These truths will challenge you to make the most of the role that God has given to you.