The Book Of Amazing Stories – Book Review

 

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Robert A. Petterson, Dr. is a spellbinding storyteller, weaving intriguing, life-changing stories into his books, speaking engagements, pilgrimages, personal interactions, and counsel to community and industry leaders. He has done so throughout his career as a pastor, acclaimed public speaker, expert fundraiser, and compelling pilgrimage host. All of these roles reflect his rare gift of making history relevant in a contemporary world – a world of the story at its very finest.

In his book “The Book of Amazing Stories” Peterson shows us how God used the lives of these ordinary people to change the course of human history.

Ninety moving and inspiring stories—each about two and a half pages in length and ending with a quote and a scripture for reflection. These easy to read chapters made it a beautiful addition to my daily quiet time in the morning.  The book could also be used as a great conversation starter in a small group setting.

If you’re looking for inspiration when life is weighing you down, or if you find yourself asking God, “Why?” This book will offer you encouragement and will help you find the light in the darkest areas of your life.

You can get the book HERE   My rating for this little gem is 5 out 5 stars!

I am blessed to have received a copy of this book for free from Tyndale Publishers for review purposes.  I received no other compensation and the review is my own honest opinion of the book.

Be good to each other, Jay

Every Job A Parable – A Book Review

978-1-63146-548-2

Every Job A Parable by John Van Sloten is a book that challenges us to see our job in a new light, and prompts us to answer the question, “What does my job tell us about God?”

“to help kindle a new kind of vocational imagination, to help you experience God at work more, and to help you read the parable that is your job.”

If your like me, there are times when I wonder if what I do for a living makes a difference, does it matter?  Am I just working at working?  Better yet, are questions like, “Do you think your job is important to God?  Does God think your job is important to Him?”  John answers these questions in this book.  He shows us that any job can be used to glorify God.  Every job provides the opportunity to serve Him.

I think this book would be great in a small group setting.  Very honest and eye opening conversations could be had with people from different vocations as you explore what work would be like if we viewed it as another way to serve God.

John Van Sloten is a pastor, teacher and writer who lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. For the past 20 years he’s been exploring a worldview that seeks to discern God’s voice in all things: the Bible, the arts, sport, science, film, music, literature, history, mathematics, nature and human nature.

4 out of 5 stars.

You can get the book HERE

I am blessed to have received a copy of this book for free from Tyndale Publishers for review purposes.  I received no other compensation and the review is my own honest opinion of the book.

Be good to each other, Jay

A Day At The Beach – Book Review

9781496414878_p0_v3_s192x300A Day At The Beach – Devotions to help you relax, refresh and renew by Jedd and Todd Hafer has become not only my favorite summer devotional, but my go to book when I need to reflect, refresh, and renew my spirit.

This beautiful, orange leather pocket size devotional is filled with short stories and reflections centered around the Hafer brothers love for the beach.  And their style of writing, storytelling at its finest!

If your the type that finds peace and quiet from life struggles at the beach, or hears God small voice in the roll of every soft wave, this book is for you.  As you read through the devotionals, you’ll find yourself transported to the beach and the warm sunshine of Gods love.

There is no right or wrong way to read this book.  One devotional a day, or sit and read it in its entirety, in order or jump around.  It doesn’t matter, any way you decide to read through it you will find yourself renewed and refreshed.

“When we are present in the everyday moments, we find that God is present with us.  And where God is, the flicker of a holy flame can help us see the commonplace in a whole new light.”  “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Matthew 6:21

I loved this book so much I feel it deserves 6 out of 5 stars!  You can get this little gem HERE.

Todd & Jedd Hafer’s Bio:
Todd Hafer, a veteran writer with fifteen books published, is editorial director for Hallmark, Inc. In addition to Stranger in the Chat Room and Mischief from the Back Pew, he has co-written Snickers from the Front Pew with his brother Jedd. He lives with his family in Kansas.

Jedd Hafer is a stand-up comic who has performed with some of the top comics in the nation and is the director of a home for troubled teens. In addition to Stranger in the Chat Room and Mischief from the Back Pew, he has co-written Snickers from the Front Pew with his brother Todd. Jedd and his family make their home in Colorado.

Visit Todd & Jedd’s website at www.haferbros.com

I am blessed to have received a copy of this book for free from Tyndale Publishers for review purposes.  I received no other compensation and the review is my own honest opinion of the book.

365 Pocket Morning Prayers

morning prayersIf you have been looking for a small, portable prayer book, or have a desire to enhance your prayer life, or even a prayer devotional, this book is for you.

Each morning I grab a cup of coffee and my “365 Pocket Morning Prayers – Strength and Joy to Begin Each Day” and talk with God.  This beautiful soft leather pocket size book has changed my morning conversations with God.  It helps me express my worries, concerns and my joys, and it can help you.

The prayers in this book are so easy to relate to. The topics address a variety of needs. You can read the book as a daily devotion or pray based on the topic that best meets your daily need.

At the very beginning of the book Dave Veerman reminds us that:

Prayer is a privilege.
Prayer is personal.
Prayer is powerful.

So, if you want to begin your day in joyful anticipation, trusting that God is in control of your life and wants only the best for you, start your mornings with “365 Pocket Morning Prayers – Strength and Joy to Begin Each Day”

Five star rating - shiny golden stars

I am blessed to have received a copy of this book for free from Tyndale Publishers for review purposes.  I received no other compensation and the review is my own honest opinion of the book.

Have a blessed day, Jay

The Bad Habits Of Jesus

Bad Habits

Review: The Bad Habits of Jesus: Showing Us the Way to Live Right in a World Gone Wrong
Leonard Sweet
Tyndale House Publishers
2016

Leonard Sweet’s book, “The Bad Habits Of Jesus”, presents to us the offensive and scandalous side of Jesus that’s described in the Bible.

  • Did he disappear when people needed him most? Yes.
  • Did he refuse to answer questions directly? Yes.
  • Did Jesus offend the people of his day? Absolutely, yes.

By all accounts Jesus did have bad habits, and Sweet presents them in a way that will have you yearning to have those same bad habits if you want to be a follower of Christ.

“Bad Habits” is an examination of how Jesus had habits that defied cultural expectations.  It could be said that Jesus was a “rebel“!  Jesus loved to party, he broke the rules, spit, procrastinated, hung out with bad people.  The list goes on.  Sweet reminds us that Jesus came for the least of us.

Too many times we view Jesus as quiet, timid, gentle, soft spoken.  Sweet blows that picture apart and shows another side of Jesus that most of us overlooked.  Throughout scripture we find that Jesus truly was a rebel.

At the back of the book is a discussion guide that is perfect if you wanted to use this book as part of a small group study.  I highly recommend this book.  You can get it HERE.

Five star rating - shiny golden stars

I am blessed to have received a copy of this book for free from Tyndale Publishers for review purposes.  I received no other compensation and the review is my own honest opinion of the book.

Have a blessed day, Jay

befriend ~ create belonging in an age of judgement, isolation, and fear – Book Review

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befriend ~ create belonging in an age of judgement, isolation, and fear by Scott Sauls was a joy to read.

Befriend is a beautiful collection of essays that attempt to explore a unique picture of real friendship.  The names and places are changed, but every story is true!  I love that part.  Who doesn’t love a true story that can inspire, lift the spirits, challenge us, better yet, change our lives.

C.S. Lewis said “To love at all is to be vulnerable.”

C.S. Lewis was right.  Real love, real friendship, is vulnerable, risky, costly, and discomforting.  But in this book Sauls reminds us what the Bible says about love.  It is patient and kind.  It does not envy or boast.  It is not arrogant or rude.  It does not demand its own way.  It is not irritable or resentful.  it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.  it bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.  It never fails.

Befriend will point you towards diverse friendships that can enrich your life as well as those around you.  We’re talking about real friendships, not your Facebook feed, Twitter followers, Instagram groupies.  I’m talking face to face honest, sincere, caring, loving friendships.

I liked that at the end of each chapter there is a Summary, Scripture and To Consider.  An example is chapter 7 Befriend True Friends and Significant Others;

SUMMARY: God puts us in close, covenant relationships as part of our growth.  He promises to finish the good work he has begun in us and to use marriage and close friendship on the process.  This is why we stay committed and don’t give up on each other.

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 2:22-25; Philippians 1:6 Man looks on the outward appearance; but the Lord looks on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7)

TO CONSIDER: When it comes to choosing a close friend or significant other, what criteria do we use?  Which matters most – physical appearance and pedigree, or a humble heart and a well-worn Bible?  Why is it important that the closest people to us also be given permission to challenge us where our character and Christlikeness is lacking?

I encourage you to pick up a copy of Befriend and start on the path to engaging with those who can challenge and enhance our limited perspectives.

I loved the book! I rate it

Five star rating - shiny golden stars

I received a complimentary sample of this book from BuzzPlant for my own honest opinion.

God Bless, Jay

The One Year Hearing His Voice Devotional ~Book Review~

The One Year Hearing His Voice Devotional by Chris Tiegreen contains 365 devotionals about intimate communication with God. If you are looking to enter into a deeper relationship with God by understanding the ways in which He speaks, then this book is for you. Each devotional starts with a Bible scripture verse, than a devotional reading, and ends with a prayer that brings it all together. There are also devotionals titled “From the Heart of God”, which are like God is speaking directly to the reader.

“I never promised that you wouldn’t go through deep waters, rivers of difficulty, or fires of oppression. I have promised, however, that I will be with you and bring you through. You need to understand the difference. When you encounter trials, even painful or difficult ones, don’t think that I’ve let you down. I’m with you even in the midst of them.”

I have tried reading devotional books before, but they have never kept my interest nor helped me come closer to God.  But after reading this book for the last few months I am amazed how much this book has helped me take next steps with God. I highlighted a lot throughout it because I felt like God was often speaking directly to me.

I have found that starting each day with this book has helped me to form positive habits that connect me to what’s most important.  Words are extremely important to me and this book has helped me find a natural rhythm for drawing closer to God.  Daily focus on the devotional message has had a very personal and essential impact on my spiritual growth, and you can have that too, just get a copy of this book.

I pray that this book finds its way into your hands somehow, whether you buy it, you receive it as a gift, or if you borrow it from someone.  “Our God is not silent – He has revealed Himself as the God who guides, instructs, corrects, inspires, encourages, and reveals.  He has always been vocal, and He always will be.”  My review = 5 out of 5 stars

Chris Tiegreen

Insightful and thought-provoking, Chris Tiegreen has inspired thousands of people through his popular One Year devotionals including The One Year Walk with God Devotional, The One Year At His Feet Devotional, and The One Year Experiencing God’s Presence Devotional. He is also the author of Unburdened and several other books. His experiences as a missionary, pastor, journalist, and university instructor bring a unique perspective to his writing. He is currently an editor at Walk Thru the Bible.

You can read an excerpt of the book HERE.  The book is available at AMAZON

I am blessed to have received a copy of this book for free from Tyndale Publishers for review purposes.  I received no other compensation and the review is my own honest opinion of the book.

Have a blessed day, Jay

No Greatness Without Goodness

The first thing that got my attention about this book was the title, “No Greatness Without Goodness”, the second thing was that it’s a story of a father’s love for his autistic son and how this love brought Greatness With Goodness!  The last thing, I have a nephew who is autistic, and this book resonated in me.  Lewis’s story teaches that we need to concentrate on what can be done, instead of what cannot be done.

Randy Lewis is a retired vice president of Walgreens and his book tells the story of how he introduced an inclusive model in Walgreens distribution centers that resulted in 10 percent of its workforce being staffed by people with disabilities.  Employees that despite having disabilities, are held to the same standards of those without disabilities.  What he accomplished, what all involved accomplished, has changed the lives of thousands and serves as the example that with great power comes great responsibility.

Lewis’s passion for hiring those with disabilities came from his love for his son Austin who was born with Autism.  Lewis and his wife Kay wondered what kind of life lay ahead for Austin.  Lewis writes, “Our dreams for our second child were of the ordinary kind – baseball, Cub Scouts, model airplanes – but we would soon learn that this was no ordinary child.  None of those childhood pleasures were to be his.  Instead, he was to be my catalyst, my inspiration, and my goad.  He would compel me toward action that I never would have thought possible.”

Lewis’s shares the sometimes painful, but also joyful experience of raising a child with autism.  It was Chapter 4, Finding Gold in Dark Places, that I could really relate to.  Lewis writes, “Our son has never spontaneously said he loves us.  That doesn’t mean he doesn’t – he just communicates love in a different way.”  I can relate!  He also writes, “He (Austin) began to create new combinations of words to describe things, which we referred to as “Austinisms”.  Orange spring for fall. “Sky flowers” for fireworks.  “Walking rock” for turtle.  Others were more self-explanatory, such as “bottom sneeze.”  Lewis reminds us that we need to look deeper, even into the troubles.  There is gold to be found everywhere.

As I read this book, and how determined Lewis was to make a difference, to do good work, one of my favorite bible verses, in fact my life verse, kept coming to mind.  “I am doing a great work and I can not come down.” Nehemiah 6:3

Nothing, absolutely nothing kept Lewis from what he deemed his mission, hiring the disabled and giving them what we all desire, want and need, the sense of belonging, that we all have value, that sense of feeling that we are wanted, needed and that we each make a difference.

What Randy Lewis did is amazing.  Greatness is not measured by the result but in the attempt.  As writer Beryl Markham observed seventy years ago in her masterpiece West with the Night, “If a man has any greatness in him, it comes to light, not in one flamboyant hour, but in the ledger of his daily work.”  Lewis’s ledger is quite impressive.

5 out of 5 stars!  Get the book HERE!

You can read an excerpt of the book HERE

I am blessed to have received a copy of this book for free from Tyndale Publishers for review purposes.  I received no other compensation and the review is my own honest opinion of the book.

Prototype by Jonathan Martin – The Review

PrototypeJonathan Martin has written an eye opener of a book with Prototype, What happens when you discover your more like Jesus than you think?  From beginning to end Jonathan uses personal stories, humor, scripture and at times statements that make you wake up and take notice that your are more like Jesus than you realize.  That you are God’s beloved.

I always like it when I find the ‘what if’s” in a book, and Jonathan hit me with some great ones just pages into the book.

“What if the ultimate goal of everything Jesus said and did was not to get us to believe certain things about Him, but to become like Him?  What if it were possible to become fully human in all ways that Jesus was?  What if Jesus were God’s prototype for a whole new way of being human?”

Through out the book Jonathan shows us that we need to completely trust that God loves us just like Jesus did.  Understand that we are God’s beloved, and be confident in who we are and what are purpose is.  Jesus understood that he was God’s beloved and, as Jonathan perfectly puts it, “unlike every other person in human history….He never forgot.”  Prototype will help you realize you can be more like Jesus, and you are more like Jesus than you realize.

I also received a DVD curriculum by the same name. The DVD is divided into six sessions about 15 minutes in length each. Each session is a recap of the chapters and I believe would be very beneficial in a small group setting. The DVD also includes a Leader’s Guide.  The DVD is perfect for a small group curriculum of any age. 

You can read an excerpt of the book HERE   

You can find Prototype at Barnes&Noble and Amazon.

Overall rating – 5 out of 5 stars.

About the Author

Jonathan Martin

Jonathan Martin leads the liars, dreamers, and misfits of Renovatus, a Church for People Under Renovation, in Charlotte, North Carolina. He holds degrees from Gardner-Webb University, the Pentecostal Theological Seminary, and Duke University Divinity School. He is married to Amanda, and is unafraid to be seen walking his small dog, Cybil. www.pastorjonathanmartin.com

I am blessed to have received a copy of this book and DVD for free from Tyndale Publishers for review purposes.  I received no other compensation and the review is my own honesty opinion of the book.