Reclaiming the Lost Art of Biblical Meditation by Robert J. Morgan

240_360_book-2208-coverMeditation in the United States, has, unfortunately been relegated to an eastern, religious act to draw oneself closer to illumination. By the emptying of one’s mind with rhythmic breathing, the spirit of an individual can contact the source of illumination. This influence may become a barrier when a person reads the Bible and notes verses about meditation on the Word of God.

In his book, Reclaiming the Lost Art of Biblical Meditation, Robert J. Morgan seeks to correct this misunderstanding and introduce the reader to Biblical meditation for spiritual growth and wisdom. Morgan has seen the benefit of meditation, done Biblically, and wants fellow Christian to benefit as well.

Morgan starts off with explaining meditation from a Biblical understanding and then gives ways to use meditation spiritual development. Such development can aid in areas such as: caming of the spirit, insight into God’s Will, and the wonder of God to name a few. By meditating, a Christian can focus on God and His wisdom thus growing deeper in faith and understanding of Scripture.

Morgan also has a download of guided meditations. These guided meditations are set to music with Morgan reading passages of Scripture in a metre format. This should be a good start for those wanting to embrace Biblical meditation and develop habits of proper meditational tactics.

I found this book to helpful in its explanation of meditation. Its short length acts as a decent primer on meditation and can be read in a short time span. This makes it ideal for developing good habits of meditation but not so lengthy as to lose the reader who wants to start as soon as possible.

There is also a meditation guide in the back for the reading of Scripture. Passages are given then brief instructions on how to meditate on those passages. Again, a nice tool to have to encourage the development of meditational tactics.

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

Nothing to Prove by Jennie Allen

nothing-to-prove-book-3dMany Christian try so hard to be the ideal Christian. They look at certain way, talk a certain, and believe that opening up their faults shows that God is powerless in their lives. This performance-based Christianity has caused some to feel like a failure and believe that they are not good enough to be used by God.

Jennie Allen understand this for she has, and is still, battling the pressure to be the idea Christian. In her book, Nothing to Prove, Allen writes of the struggles she has faced trying to act as if she has it all-together. Yet, inside she feels that she is drowning in deluge of believing she is a failure, no one will accept her, and God cannot use such a person as her.

Part personal recollections, part guidance, and part inspirational, Nothing to Prove gives insight for those who struggle with trying to prove their worth to others and God. Allen petitions her readers to let go of such thoughts and embrace the grace of God. God is not concerned about your performance; He loves you. He wants you to find your worth from Him; not the expectations of others.

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

The Power of Positive Leadership by Jon Gordon

book“Positive leaders drive positive cultures.” (The Power of Positive Leadership, pg 15)

In his book, The Power of Positive Leadership, Jon Gordon gives information on how and why positive leaders transforms teams and organizations. By doing, this positive leaders change the world.

As I began to read this book, I was quick to be introduced to the idea that positive leadership is not optimistic leadership. The difference between the two is that positive leadership understands that there will be struggles, trials, and hardships. It does ignore problem or treat them as if they are minor.Rather, Positive Leadership sees trials and struggles as necessary steps towards an end.

Gordon begins by first laying out what real positive leadership looks like. From there he begins to go into the various aspects of positive leadership and why it is beneficial to have a positive attitude while being a leader. It is not that Gordon is trying to put together a euphoric experience. Rather he is seeing the value that positive leadership can bring and lays for some guidelines so that positive leaders can be successful while working hard to get there.

One area that I found especially helpful is chapter 11. In this chapter Gordon lays out that positive leaders have to have determination semicolon what he calls. It gets into the knowing why you do what you do knowing, what you want to do, knowing that you love it, recognizes that at some point you will fail, but keep doing the right things and ignore the critics.

It is perhaps this last section on ignoring the critics that is really helpful because there are going to be critics and a positive leader has to know that they’re going to come. However, he will not allow their negativity to affect him and bring him down. Rather he will see their criticism, use it if valuable, and if it is not, disregard it and continue to move forward towards the goal.

This book should be read by those entering college and continue to be read throughout their college experience. Much of the information in this book needs to be taught to this demographic but is often not taught by leaders around them.As a result they struggle with figuring out what they need to do, how to go about doing it, and where to find guidance. I believe this book is a part of that guidance factor.

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

Grace is Greater by Kyle Idleman

9780801019418The grace of God is something that is very difficult to understand. On the one hand, we appreciate it. On the other hand, because we do not understand it we may find it difficult to accept it from God and extend it to others.

In his book, Grace is Greater, Kyle Idleman gives a understanding of what Grace is from the Bible and then explains why it is so necessary in the life of a Christian. Often people exclude themselves from certain types of roles because they feel they are unworthy based on past mistakes.

Idleman shows that the grace of God can overcome any past mistakes and as a result no one should be considered unqualified if God has asked himi/her to do something.

He then points out that grace is greater our own personal lives. We should extend grace when we want to take vengeance on somebody, or if somebody injured us. God has given us so much grace that he has made the relationship between himself and us possible. Why should we not extend grace to others?

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

The Power of Significance by John C. Maxwell

71c55b11a511f4417e4ba194127f2773People want to live their lives with significance. They want to know they made a difference and lived with purpose. Sadly, not many would describe their lives as having purpose and most may admit that they do not live their lives with any sense of direction.

Leadership expert John Maxwell has written a small book titled The Power of Significance. This book, a condensed version of Intentional Living, seeks to aid the reader in finding their purpose and from this revelation, begin to live a life of significance.

Maxwell first starts by getting the ready to recognize that live a life of meaning requires starting to live with intentionality. Do not wander through life with no purpose, no goal; no reason. Rather, Maxwell challenges his readers to see the life they want and begin to make the changes necessary to see this life become reality.

The remainder of the book acts as a guide showing how to find one’s purpose and put small practices to grow and mature. As maturity is realized, purpose becomes clearer and significance begins to blossom.

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

The Holy Bible: 1611 Edition by Hendrickson Publishers

9781565638082oPerhaps the greatest book ever produced is the King James Version of the Bible. In 1611 the Authorized Version, as it has been called, was put together by translators in England at the request of King James. Wanting a Bible for English speakers, a Bible translation was commissioned and was finally finished in 1611.

The history of this works is amazing. To see how God used men to carry forward His word so that the English speaker can know and have a relationship with God is awesome. For this reason, it is beneficial, in my mind, for the English speaker to understand the history  of their English Bible.

With this in mind, Hendrickson Publishers has put out a 1611 edition of the King James Version of the Bible. It is a preproduction of the 1611 edition of the Bible. The spelling has remained the same and the chapter headings and column headings are also the same (see a sample here). This may surprise a few English speakers to see that the Bible they have today that is called the King James Version is somewhat different from the Bible that was produced in 1611.

I found reading this Bible was reading history. Seeing the spelling, chapter headings, and columnar headings gave me an appreciation for the level of work that was done and a respect for the reverence the translation had for the Bible.

The font face is easy to read though it is not a large print so please keep that in mind. As I understand, the original size of the 1611 was large for today’s Bible reader. This reproduction has a smaller size Bible than what one would have seen in 1611. Also, the 1611 spelling may take a bit to understand but once the reader has a good grasp on the spelling, reading this Bible does not take much effort. This does have the apocryphal text which is taken out of most modern translations. I don’t have a problem with it because it was originally in the 1611 Bible.

There are no maps, no concordances, and no book introductions. It is simply the Bible that was put together in 1611.  However, there are some additional helps in the front that give the history of the 1611 Bible along with background information on it. Also there are the letters that were put together to King James from the translators, a letter to the reader from the translators, and there is also a reading plan for those reading the Bible throughout the year.

Overall, I really enjoy this particular Bible for its historical perspective. To understand what was behind the English production of a Bible should help Christians have a deeper appreciation for the Word of God.

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

Devotions for a Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas

225_350_book-2240-coverMarriage is between two people who have faults, shortcomings, and selfish desires. Yet, these two individuals can put aside their selfish wants in order to have an amazing marriage. By focusing on the relationship, and not on personal agendas, marriages can thrive and be enjoyed.

In his book, Devotions for a Sacred Marriage, Gary Thomas gives 52 devotions, designed to be read weekly, to challenge a man and a woman to be better spouses. Addressing issues like: communication, money, and spiritual growth, to name a few, Thomas’ devotional is intended to get couples to be consistent about strengthening their marriage.

The devotional are not long and should be ideal for a husband and wife to read in a few minutes but then discuss for some time. These devotional may not be easy to read but those who use them, in my opinion, will benefit greatly.

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