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 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.  

No Limits by John C. Maxwell

ee8e68948f0b2f69451e5a1347e3c4a7Are you struggling with the idea that you can do more but just cannot seem to do more? Many strive for more but just cannot seem to find the energy to do so.

John Maxwell, in his book No Limits, discuss three areas to increase capacity in a person’s life. By doing so, a person could achieve more and be more fulfilled in life. The three areas deal with removing what limits a person’s capacity, developing the capacities that already exist, and doing things that maximize a person’s capacity.

Capacity has an idea of being limited. A battery can only hold so much charge. A glass can only hold so much water. Maxwell counters that people have unknown capacities and this book sets out to show each person how to tap into unknown capacity.

*I receive 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.

A Time for Confidence by Stephen J. Nichols

tim04bp_200x1000It seems that Christianity in America is under harsh attack. When it was once understood to be American was almost assuredly to be Bible-believing Christian, such time has passed. To be Christian in America today is to rid oneself of the shackles of “archaic teachings” for the enlightenment of social equality.

Such attacks has caused many to lose confidence. The Bible is attacked and many have felt the social backlash of being seen as “intolerant” or “hater” or “uneducated”. How is a Christian to remain confident in the truth during these difficult times?

Stephen J. Nichols has written a much needed book for times such as these. A Time for Confidence is a call to remain firm and not given into social pressures. Nichols lays out that Christians can be confident in: God, the Bible, Christ, the Gospel, and hope.

My giving stories of Christians in past times who stood firm on the solid foundation of the Bible, Nichols parallels their stories with current times to show that God has not failed them and He will not fail us. His Word is forever, Christ has given us peace and power, and the Gospel still changes lives.

Christians must rest in these confidences even when the dark skies of social judgment begin to thunder words to change our ways.

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

Your Next 24 Hours by Hal Donaldson

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Imagine if you decided that every day you were going to live out an act of kindness. What would that look like?  How would that change you? Could it Inspire others to do the same?

In his book, Your Next 24 Hours, Hal Donaldson gives varying stories of individuals who took time to be kind. Each chapter gives an example of those who took time to be kind and how it changed lives.

This is a challenging book because it shows that kindness does not have to be an extravagant ordeal. Rather it is the simple things that can express kindness. For example, in chapter 13 at the end of the chapter one of the ways to be kind is to give up your seat on a bus to someone who is elderly, pregnant, or just plain tired.

Such simple acts will change not only the person receiving but also the person giving kindness. As I read this book, I found that I needed to work on being kind in my own life. Sometimes I get so caught up in my world that I forget to reach out and someone else’s. This book did a decent job of reminding me that selfishness is not the way Jesus lived and it is not the way that I should live.

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