Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray

SurrenderRarely do I come across a book that has such value that it impacts from the first few pages of reading. Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray is one of those books. The depth and richness of the challenges set forth by Murray are of such caliber that every Christian should read this book and could you benefit from making it a yearly habit.

Murray sets forth the premise that Christians are living life without the power and grace of God because they are not fully surrendered to him; absolutely surrendered is the term he borrows.

Starting with the example of King Ahab in I Kings 20, with particular attention to verse four, Murray shows the heart of absolute surrender. King Ahab is being attacked and his response to the demands of the invaders is “All that I have and all that I own are yours” (my paraphrase).

Murray challenges Christian to take this approach in their relationship with Jesus Christ. From this challenge, Murray then gives examples of the benefits and blessings of being absolutely surrendered to Christ and calls all Christians to seek such a life.

*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.

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.

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.

Adorned by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

97808024125912028129Mentors.

Mentors are people who are sought because of their wisdom, expertise, and availability. A mentor is someone who can guide and be a resource to those who are looking to avoid mistakes, grow, and potentially be a mentor in the future.

In the book of Titus, Paul mentions that older women are to be examples to younger women and work with them to grow in Christ; i.e. act like a mentor. Paul then gives some guidelines on how older women and younger women should work together.

In her book, Adorned, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth takes Titus 2 and writes to both older and younger women challenging them to be more like Christ. Wolgemuth highlights key parts of Titus 2 and expands on them on how it may look to live out what the author of Titus is communicating.

At the end of each chapter are a few questions to reinforce what was learned and to spur an older or younger woman to rid herself of what can weigh down her spiritual growth and adopt the mind of Christ to live out her femininity in each season of her life.

A book like this is needed more and more. It seems that fewer people have that grandma in their life who is that voice of reason and wisdom. The older generation is seen as archaic and are often ignored when it comes to navigating life and its rough seas. The Bible speaks differently to this view and Adorned is an excellent book to show that old does not mean worthless.

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

Memoir & Remains of Robert Murrary M’Cheyne by Andrew Bonar

memoirandremainsofmcheyne-204x320He was born in Edinburgh Scotland. The year was 1813. He was the youngest child of the family and his name was Robert Murray M’Cheyne. Reverend M’Cheyne would go on to become an influential preacher and inspiration to many in Christianity.

Were it not for Andrew Bonar we may not know much of M’Cheyne. Bonar took effort to chronicle the life of Robert M’Cheyne and the best book on the subject is titled Memoir & Remains of Robert Murray M’Cheyne. This particular work begins with a memoir to M’Cheyne relating some of his struggles, thoughts, and dealings as he went throughout his life. By using some of M’Cheyne’s journal entries we get some insight into the man. The book contains some of the letters that M’Cheyne wrote to various people with the intent of becoming more and more like Christ. Following the letters in the book come a sample of sermons by M’Cheyne. .

These sermons show the heart of M’Cheyne and how he understood and applied the Scriptures. His desire to let go of worldly enticements and seek after Christ become all the more apparent as each sermon is read. M’Cheyne’s passion also protrudes as he desires that all who hear him find their calling and life in Jesus Christ.

M’Cheyne was somewhat of a poet and would often used poetry to explain some of the thoughts and musings that he had. These poems are at the back of the book and are quite inspirational. For example, take a sample of a poem titled They Sing the Song of Moses:

And oh! When, life’s dark journey o’er
And death’s enshrouding valley past,
We plant our foot on yonder shore,
And tread yon golden strand at last

Shall we not see with deep amaze,
How grace hath led us safe along;
And whilst behind–before, we gaze,
Triumphant burst into a song! (p. 633c – 634a)

M’Cheyne loved God and the peace that would come to him upon his death. He wanted all to know this peace and some of his poetry’s heart is apparent while reading.

On a personal note, I took the challenge to read the whole Bible in one year following the readings outlined by M’Cheyne. Upon accepting this challenge, I wanted to learn more about this individual and found this particular book extremely helpful and insightful. I don’t normally recommend books to everybody. However, I hardly make an exception with this book. The language may be difficult for a modern English reader but take the time to read this work. It may just be life changing to you.

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