Monday, May 19, 2014

Book Review: Simply for God

Icon Media Group provided a complimentary copy of the featured book in exchange for an honest review.
     People complicate things more than they should. To walk the Christian way can be susceptible to the very thing that Christ opposed, living by rules. God doesn't hold a yardstick to us against any other person or what rules we have down pat. He looks upon our hearts and the love within. There are some believers who always feel they aren't doing enough, being enough nor are good enough and yet, they strive to do more, be more and be better.
     Author Stovall Weems with purity of heart and sheer candor has penned The God First Life: Uncomplicate Your Life, God's Way to help believers set aside the hustle and bustle, to slow down and live for God simply. Weems wants you to put down your pen and checklist and focus on the One who matters. We can run in circles trying to make sure our reading is done, prayers are said and church is attended, but it remain meaningless if our hearts are not a part of the walk. He delves into Matthew 6:33 and intertwines that verse throughout the pages.
     So you are a part of God's family, now what? I honestly wish I could have had this book my side when I began my journey. Weems untangles so many misconceptions by laying it out clearly and concisely. Any believer, particularly new believers or those feeling spiritually-challenged, will benefit form reading The God First Life. There are times when our walks become stale or we feel burdened by the stereotypes formed in churches. All those things we do become dull if they are not an expression of worship to the Almighty, an extension of our hearts.
     The author never sugar coats anything or wears rose-colored glasses. Our journey can be difficult at times, it can be harried and complicated, but God never intended for us to live like that. Weems brings such clarity and fresh perspective to verses, to a way of living that a holy, fulfilling walk seems feasible for any believer no matter where they are at the moment. I would encourage everyone to pick this book up and live The God First Life.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Book Review: Listen to a Higher Power

Multnomah Books provided a complimentary copy of Crash the Chatterbox: Hearing God's Voice Above All Others by Steven Furtick in exchange for an honest review.
     Even when we know who we are in Christ it can be difficult to hear His voice, when the din of the chatter is so loud. Instead of holding confidence in God we begin to give power to lies of condemnation, insecurity, fear and discouragement allowing them to stifle us and not live fully to our calling. Author and pastor Steven Furtick wants to help you beat down the lies and listen to the voice of God, the only voice that matters in Crash the Chatterbox.
     He breaks down the book into four sections covering the aforementioned lies. Subsequently, Furtick brings an affirmation of truth to squelch that lie. For example, God says I am, is affirmed to combat the lie of insecurity. Even when we feel we can't do something, we still can stand firm knowing God can. Furtick includes personal anecdotes, biblical narrative and God's Word. When we tell ourselves lies, they become our life, what we live out. However, when we fill ourselves with God's Word we will live out the truth.
     Furtick writes with such conversational ease that once in a while I could imagine myself hearing him speak, as if he were before me. His suggestions are useful and rather counterintuitive at first glance. He acknowledges that explaining with clarity what it is he means and how you can use his ideas in a practical manner. I found the chapters short and delightful, given some of the work that you may want to do on yourself may be anything but easy and full of delight. One thing is certain, Furtick gives you tools to get started and reaffirm what we know to be true.
      Furtick never waivers from his faith, even when he has wavered from his will. Let's face it, we all hear chatter we know not to be true, yet we often live according to lies. He is blatantly honest with his shortcomings, owns up to them and has overcome them. The good news is that we do have the power to overcome the struggles day by day. The bad news is every day will bring with it a battle of chatter. However, it is an ongoing battle that doesn't necessarily have to be a struggle. Crash the Chatterbox brings hope and encourages all believers wherever they be on their jouney, to continue their march forward and to listen only to the Word that matters, the only words of significance. Begin
Crashing the Chatterbox and know: God says I am. God says He will. God says He has. God says I can.

Purchase from Amazon here


Steven Furtick
Steven Furtick is the founder and lead pastor of Elevation Church.

In just under seven years, Elevation Church has grown to more than 10,000 people in weekly attendance, meeting at seven locations in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. Elevation has been named one of the fastest growing Churches in America by Outreach Magazine for each of the past six years.

Pastor Steven has been privileged to minister to a global audience, speaking at conferences and churches around the world, including Catalyst Conference, Hillsong Conference, and the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit. He is the author of the New York Times best-selling book, Greater, and the nationally acclaimed Sun Stand Still.

Pastor Steven holds a Master of Divinity degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

He and his wife Holly live in the Charlotte area with their two sons, Elijah and Graham, and daughter, Abbey


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Book Review: Worth the Investment

Bethany House Publishing provided a complimentary copy of the featured book in exchange for an honest review.
     Most likely if you are an avid reader, at some point you have read a self-help book. You know the titles that promise you will find yourself within the 200 pages, or you can even create the life you have dreamed of by doing A,B and C. The selections are overwhelming and plentiful on the bookstore shelves. Yet, what we are all longing to do is to fulfill our souls. We thirst for more.
     Author Daniel Henderson has penned a book to help you do just that. The Deeper Life: Satisfying the Eight Vital Longings of Your Soul guides the reader to answer those questions in a purposeful way, a way that help you live your life by defining your principles. If we are lost not knowing what we are searching for, we will go through life grasping at straw, only to have storms sweep it all away. However, if we can identify who we are and what we believe, our behaviors that shape our lives will be an extension of what we believe and give meaning to our daily lives.
     I was thoroughly impressed with this book in its entirety. Besides Henderson's engaging writing style which led me to an inner dialogue as I read, there is also a Part 2. Many books pepper you with questions to think about which is fine. However, The Deeper Life's Part 2 is thoroughly useful. It is a workbook of sorts helping the reader work through the knowledge they just gained turning it into practical application. The Discovery Exercises delve into your heart, into your soul allowing you to weave a working tapestry of what you believe and how to make use of those beliefs.
     The Deeper Life gets the reader to invest in their own lives. We can find our identity and purpose, learn what matters to us, how we can fulfill our callings and strive for eternity. What will your legacy look like on earth and in heaven? Everything we do, every decision we make is a reflection of our belief system. I have rarely come across a book that has pierced my heart as much and given me as extensive fodder to digest. I only hope if you are looking to fulfill your soul, to squelch that heart-wrenching longing for more or want to simply enrich your life that you will invest the time in this book and satisfy the longings of your soul.