A Day at the Beach by Jedd Hafer and Todd Hafer

978-1-4964-1487-8Sometimes we just want to get away and relax. To just have a few moments of refreshment and mental peace. Jedd and Todd Hafer have had these moments too. They wanted to get away; to go to the beach.

In their small devotional, A Day at the Beach, the Hafers write quick thoughts to give the reader a chance to reflect, ponder, and meditate on God; on His peace and His love. They want they readers to take those “day at the beach” moments to draw closer to God and not get weighed down by the grind of life.

I found this small book an easy read to challenge my thoughts. While I tend to read more heavier devotionals (My Utmost for His Highest and The Valley of Vision to name two) sometimes the simplicity of a devotional is needed. This book does just that; power in simplicity.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

The Comeback by Louie Giglio

225_350_book-2296-coverCan a person comeback from a defeat? What if dreams are crushed, can they be revived?

In his book, The Comeback, Louie Giglio gives encouraging words that God is not a one-and-done God. He does not give us just one chance and if we fail He abandons us. Rather, God wants us to continually seek Him despite our failures.

Giglio gives story after story of how failures occurred but God did not give up on a person. The failure was used by God and people still were used in mighty ways. Such encouragement is needed in a time when failure can be perceived as disapproval by God.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

The Battlefield of the Mind Bible by Joyce Meyer

eeeb3ba02c1f7a205b740f47233722abThe Battlefield of the Mind Bible by Joyce Meyer is a Bible that has collections of the teachings of Joyce Meyer and the associated Bible passages. The thoughts and teachings of Meyer are laid out to correspond with passage of Scripture being read.

I appreciate the use of the Amplified Version of the Bible. This particular version is not often used in churches today and I believe that can be a loss. While I do not agree with everything Joyce Meyer teaches I do recommend the Amplified version for study.

One area of disagreement is the prosperity teachings. I do not see anywhere in Scripture that promises Christians a life of prosperity. Yet this is taught by Meyer as a truth for all Christians. The Bible clearly states that Christians will be hated, abused, and even killed (John 15:18, Romans 8:35 NET). If this is prosperity, then my dictionary needs updating.

That said, the Bible itself is neatly presented and is bound well. I have the leather-soft edition and that particular edition feels good in my hands. The Bible is a little heavy for those looking for something to transport easily. However, the nature of the Bible it is a decent Bible to use for study minus some of the teachings that I disagree with by Joyce Meyer.

I received a complimentary copy of this Bible from the publisher and exchange from an honest review.

The Shack Revisited by Dr. C. Baxter Kruger

b912b00b73575d53b7e29f044dccf2f2One of the greatest pieces of fiction that has come in the last 20 years is the book The Shack written by William Paul Young. This book has introduced God in a way that has many people thinking. While there is some theological discrepancies I have with this novel I will admit that it has definitely caused conversation and I believe that is a good thing.

Because of this, C Baxter Kruger has written a book The Shack Revisited. This particular book deals with some of the issues raised in the shack in relation between God and man. One thing to note is that he doesn’t actually extract pieces of the novel to use or rather use as a novel as a springboard to go deeper into certain topics that the shack has brought about.

I was a little disheartened by this because I was hoping he would go into some of the issues raised in The Shack rather than using the book as a means to discuss certain theological teachings.

One such area was the idea that God seems less judgmental of people. God is holy and righteous and this causes Him to judge people based on His holiness and glory. Kruger did not address this and was bothered that he did not.

Thus, I would exhort my readers to look at written works by the following men to help understand what  God, through the Bible, has told us about Himself and His ways:

  • Dr. John MacArthur
  • Dr. R.C. Sproul
  • Dr. Ravi Zacharias
  • John Calvin
  • John Wesley
  • Stephen Charnock
  • Robert Murrary M’Cheyne
  • A.W. Tozer

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Play the Man by Mark Batterson

9780801018985

What makes a man? Many people have tried to give an understanding of what it is to be a man. Some have pointed to ancient cultures of warriors, politicians, and leaders. Others point to modern man and the ability to climb the corporate ladder and be successful in business. Still others point to athletics or the military to prove their masculinity.

In his book, Play The Man, Mark Batterson gives seven virtues that make a man. He does this by drawing references from scripture and pointing to how God designed men to be and how this fulfills the purpose for which they were created.

The area that really stuck out to me was that a man should not shirk his responsibilities to others. He is responsible to God, to his wife, and to his family. He is not to abdicate in anyway these responsibilities to the government, to others, or to no one at all.

 

This challenge is really beneficial to me because I am a father of three and want to be active in the development of my children. Sometimes it is easy to just watch sports and remove myself from their world. But having these challenges in my life to remind me that they are much more important than a sports game is something that I need consistently.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and exchange for my honest review.

Know Who You Are by Tim Tebow

TebowHow does somebody discover their true identity? There is a lot of information on the subject and sadly some of it has a poor foundation. Because of this, Tim Tebow has written a book Know Who You Are. It is an interactive guide to discovering your true identity with a special emphasis directed at homeschoolers. However anybody can benefit from the information in this book whether they are home-schooled or not.

The book is divided into four parts with each part being building on each other. The first section, dealing with who you, are goes into who an individual is. Why they have value and worth. Recognizing that worth comes from God because God created each person with unique talents, gifts, and abilities. Because of this each person has worth far beyond what they can possibly understand. Tebow relates that he is not valued because of his athletic ability. Rather he is valued because he is a child of God.

Part 2 is realizing that God is in control and allowing Him to control your life. By relying on God a person does not have to fear the unknown but must simply put their faith in God for guidance. Also, relying on God for strength to live for Him allows a person to live for more than just today.

Part 3 is interaction with fellows human. By recognizing everybody has value, because they’re God’s creation, individuals begin to treat people differently. They treat them with respect, and ideally love, because they see people as valuable; not as tools for personal gain.

With that in mind the last section deals with living bigger and that has to do with not living for yourself but rather living for others with the intent of showing God to them.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and exchange for my honest review.

CSB Big Picture Interactive Bible, Hardcover

CSB Big PictureWhile most Bibles that I review are targeted to adults I was curious about this Bible that is targeted to children. The Big Picture Bible contains the complete text of the CSB (Christian Standard Bible) and is accompanied by photos that are designed to draw the attention of children. Most of the major stories have these images and I was impressed by how vivid the pictures are.

Another feature is that an app can be downloaded that we tell the story of selected images. Simply use the app to scan a QR code or image and a narrator reads the story of the select image. I thought this would be a great idea for my young children (I have three all under three years of age).

However, the device used has to remain scanning or else the narration stops. This became quiet annoying and I have not used the app since. As such, we are not using this Bible for family devotion or Bible story time.

Because of the app I would rate this Bible as a 2.5 star. I would have rated it higher had the app been better, such as downloading the entire story versus having to leave the app scanning the entire time, or having no app at all.

*I received a complimentary copy of this Bible from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.