Archive | book review RSS for this section

Podcast – Study Leadership .com

This week on the podcast we had Dave Frederick from Dave has been in ministry for over 30 years and has a passion for helping leaders grow and develop. A few years back he wanted to share his love of reading leadership books with other ministers and created Study Leadership. He tells us about the site. Plus as a bonus he is offering our listeners a free one month subscription by putting “studentminister” in the coupon code. I am a subscriber and big fan of what Dave is doing.

One thing great about his website is for $300 a year you can subscribe to this site and have the summaries sent to as many leaders in your church. This means all your elders, ministers, deacons, youth leadership team, etc. This is one of the greatest bargain you will find to help your entire staff.


Book Review: Holy Parenting

I just finished reading Holy Parenting by Benjamin Kerns. The author is real, authentic, and although I don’t have kids I kept thinking this is what I would look like as a parent. Kerns does a great job captivating you with stories from his life and transferring these thoughts to how to build your faith and your children’s faith. Each chapter follows the flow of a personal story that you will probably be able to relate to and then he leads to think about how these things have a spiritual element.

The first section of the book is about letting go of your old life and accepting your new life after children. He focuses on how to handle the radical change to your life and emotions you may feel.

The second part of the book is when it really got good for me. This section is dedicated to how raising children is a spiritual discipline and how we can grow spiritually by observing, reflecting, and learning from our children and events surrounding parenting. He talked about tea parties and how it teaches us the importance of being present. There is something holy about slowing down, putting away distractions, and focusing our love and attention on our children. This can apply to being there for others, spending time with God, and the value of being there for our family.

Some other things that stood out to me in this section:

  • Playmates, community, and personal growth.
  • Nap time and Sabbath rest
  • How conversations in the car teach us how to pray without ceasing
  • Stranger danger and the Holy Spirit
  • Scrapbooking and telling the story of God
  • Bedtime and reflection

Section three of the book focuses on parents passing on their faith to their children. This is the challenging section of the book. We are challenged to make sure our faith is real because our children can see if we are church goers or Christ followers. His five tips on connecting in worship services are great. The section on Sunday school spoke to me. My wife is a first grade teacher and the number one factor is success for her students is if their parents work with them at home. How many times do parents integrate Sunday school lessons into the rest of the week? He stresses the need for community and how it may look different for us. The chapter on family devotionals gives tips on how to and not to do them. This chapter made me remember all the good and bad ones I sat through as a kid.

In all this is a great book. I would recommend it and plan on getting some copies to pass on to some friends. Ben’s transparency is what makes this book. You get confessions from a dad and minister who has struggled to find a way to implement Duet 6 into his life.

Podcast with Mark Oestreicher

Today we are blessed to have Mark Oestreicher join us on the podcast to discuss his latest book Understanding Your Young Teen: Practical Wisdom for Parents. Marko is a 30-year youth ministry veteran and the former president of Youth Specialties. Marko has published more than 50 books. In 2010, he launched the Youth Ministry Coaching Program, and The Youth Cartel, a full-service consulting firm specializing in helping churches, businesses and ministries connect with teenagers, young adults, and youth workers.

Enemies of the Heart – Book Review

Enemies of the Heart is the same as It Came from Within. First I will say that I am very biased because Andy Stanley is my hero. I have a preacher crush on him.

There are four enemies of our heart: guilt, anger, jealously and greed.  Andy argues that these four are part of a debt and debtor relationship. Whenever you owe someone or someone owes you there is a tension that arises and it strains our relationship. These four enemies if left unchecked can bring on so much tension that it will destroy you and your relationships.

Guilt says, “I owe you”. You’ve got to pay that debt for your guilt to go away. Guilt is overcome by confession and repentance.

Anger says, “You owe me.” Anytime you are angry at someone you must determine what they took from you or what they owe you. It may be money, time, dignity, a childhood, etc.  Anger is overcome by forgiveness.

Greed says, “I owe me.” Greedy people think that they need and deserve everything. Greed can mask itself as a saver but soon exposes itself as always wanting more. Greed is overcome by generosity

Jealously says, “God owes me.” I’m not mad because the person I’m jealous of has what I’m jealous of. I’m mad that I don’t have it! So my problem isn’t with that person, my problem is with Go. To overcome jealousy I need to celebrate the person you’re jealous of.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Beyond Talent – Book Reveiw

John Maxwell is a great author on leadership. I try to read everything he puts out because I know I will be blessed. He teaches leadership by weaving principles, stories, and proverbs together seamlessly.

In his book Beyond Talent he highlights 13 areas that can serve as turbo chargers to your God given talent.

Everyone has talent but the thing that separates the average and the great is what they do to get the most out of it. The chapters that spoke to me where – 1)Belief Lifts Your Talent 4)Focus Directs Your Talent Perseverance Sustains Your Talent 11) Relationships Influence Your Talent 13)Teamwork Multiplies Your Talent.

Beyond Talent is classic Maxwell and that means pure goodness.

I received this book from Thomas Nelson for free in exchange for reviewing it.

Book Review – Chazown by Craig Groeshel

Craig Groeschel’s book Chazown – A Different Way to See Your Life  comes from the Hebrew word meaning a dream, revelation or vision (and pronounced khaw-ZONE). The word is found in Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision (Chazown), the people perish,” the key verse of the book.

Chazown’s purpose is to help us see that we are created with a unique chazown and we need to discover our purpose and plan and live the life God has called us to live. Groeshel believes we can discover our personal chazown by discovering our core values, spiritual gifts, and looking at our past experiences. Once we discover our purpose we need to create a plan and begin living it. As we pursue our dream we need to keep our life in balance by paying attention to 5 areas of our life: our relationship with God, our relationship with people, our finances, our health, and our work.

Groeshel says that if we surrender our life to God and his chazown for our life, keep these 5 areas in balance, establish goals, work to accomplish them, and be accountable – then God will take care of the rest.

This is a good self help motivational book. I think his principle are good and wise. This was a good read and is broken into 76 small chapters (1-5 pages). I thought this was a bit much and would have prefered 15 chapters (the main sections).

I received this book from WaterBrook Multnomah in exchange for reviewing it on my blog.

Book Review – NLT Shine Bible

The iShine Bible by Tyndale and the NLT was designed to

help tweens understand their Value, Identity, and Purpose (VIP). Tweens will see

  • how they are valued by God
  • how their identity is found in Jesus
  • and the purpose that they have because of this.

QR codes and URLs in the Bible link to videos on these topics and other online faith-building content. This compact Bible for tweens brings together the popular Christian tween brand iShine with the clearly understandable New Living Translation. The iShine Bible answers questions relating to many of the issues that tweens face with a tween-friendly index.

I was so excited about this Bible. I have been brainstorming ways to use QR codes and I knew one day a Bible would come to them. I imagined the QR codes that would link to maps, videos, commentary notes, devo thought, etc.

Unfortunately this Bible is not that. It has 3 QR codes and that is it. They are one for each of the VIP categories. I was disappointed with this. I love the NLT translation it is the one I recommend to everyone and give to our students. I keep 5 or more at all times to give away. The iShine Bible will not be one that I buy to give away. My hope is that this will be a test of what the QR code Bible could be.

This book was provided to me for review by Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review.

%d bloggers like this: