Monday, February 20, 2012

Polishing God’s Monuments

Polishing God's Monuments: Pillars of Hope for Punishing TimesimagePolishing God's Monuments: Pillars of Hope for Punishing Times by Jim Andrews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


It is with a book like this that I don't know how to sum up in a few short paragraphs the huge impact it made on my own heart. In these moments I just want to open my front door, stand on my porch, and yell for the whole world to hear: "You must read this book!"

Polishing God's Monuments is part testimony, part biography, and part teaching but completely encouraging and convicting for any believer. While it will grip the heart of anyone suffering through a trial, it specifically resonates to those who, day after day, plod along in the same trial or variations of the same kind of trial for months and years on end. While the idea of polishing God's monuments was not new to me - although the title was - the book was still refreshing with Jim's eloquent writing, personal experience, and sound Scriptural exegesis. I walked away with an energized faith in the sovereignty of God and His faithfulness to me despite my great lack of faithfulness to Him. I was also so encouraged and challenged in my own relationship with Christ by the example of Andrews and his family. Even their week moments and failures were a source of hope and balm to my soul.

I highly recommend this book to anyone - including older teenagers - and would also strongly suggest it for counseling homework. It is a great chapter-by-chapter read, but I suspect many, like myself, will find it to be so riveting that you are glued to you seat for great portions of time.

If you have only a small amount of time to read this is a book I would say needs to take position at the top of your pile!

GO GET IT AND READ IT! {said in my best front porch yelling voice}

Monday, February 06, 2012

Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health by Donald S. Whitney

Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual HealthimageTen Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health by Donald S. Whitney
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Have you, like myself, wondered about your spiritual growth? Have you wished for a way to know whether you are growing in your walk with God or not? If so, this is a book you will enjoy! Whitney's 10 question guide will help you diagnose your spiritual health and in some cases, it may be the tool that diagnosis whether there is life at all.

I first heard about this book from several teachers at a Biblical counseling conference and was immediately intrigued by the idea of being able to diagnose my spiritual status. As the title suggests, it walks you through ten questions that help you get an understanding of where you are spiritually. While there is no scale, therefore there is no physical measurement of your spiritual well-being, this book is a tool to gain a better understanding of areas that need improvement and ways in which to do so. It is not the ultimate tool or ultimate test, but it can be a great aid to challenge, convict, and encourage you in your walk with Christ.

At first I was excited at this new "magic formula" that was sure to help me. But I quickly found, that as any good author should, Whitney takes you to Scripture for the source of our spiritual evaluation. Ten Questions is a informative first read that will easily become a quick reference manual to add to your bookshelf for future use. I highly benefited from this book and I think most Christians will if they use it in the proper context of which a tool should be used.

This explanatory and applicable read is good for older high school ages and on up.

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Meal With Jesus by Tim Chester

A Meal with Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community, and Mission around the TableimageA Meal with Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community, and Mission around the Table by Tim Chester
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I have always known that The Son of Man came to "seek and save the lost" but never have I thought about The Son of Man coming to eat and drink as found in Luke 7:34. In this short, yet very thought-provoking read Tim Chester digs into the book of Luke to show us how Jesus used meals as more than just a time to nourish His body but rather a time to feed the souls of many. Using the example of Jesus, Chester exhorts us in 6 chapter to apply the service of hospitality in our own lives to minister to the church and to the lost.

I personally loved the overall emphasis of this book and I walked away with a new perspective and understanding of Jesus' earthly ministry. Reading A Meal with Jesus challenged me to rethink my purpose in hospitality and convicted me to use this ordinary tool more often in sharing His grace with others. The message of this book is powerful and fresh.

This book gets 4 stars because of it's content and I highly recommend it. It's a rather short read at 143 pages long. (Contrary to what says of it being 160 pages.) However, I found it a challenging book to read. Although it is only 6 chapters long, they were to me packed way too full and were not as succinct as they could have been. I frequently lost focus as he seemed to jump around a lot and make a simple point more wordy than necessary. While I personally don't have a problem with this, I feel bad in that more people would probably pick this good looking book up, begin to read it, and finish it if it was a bit less wordy. My challenge to you is for you to grab a copy and see for yourself. And if you agree with me, let me encourage you that is indeed worth pushing through to enjoy the whole book.
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