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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ask It by Andy Stanley

Everyday we face questions about what we should do. Andy Stanley proposes in the book "Ask It" that there really is only one question we need to ask to help us answer all the other questions we face. It may not be as simple as that, but he does offer some helpful suggestions that one needs to consider when makes decisions.

First of all every choice needs to be examined in the light of "Is this the wise thing to do?" Instead of "How close can I get to sinning without sinning" in making this decision. Being honest with yourself is essential to begin with as well as examining the choice in light of your past experiences, your present circumstances and future hopes and dreams. Along with being honest with yourself, prayer, reading God's Word and getting godly counsel, these guidelines will be helpful in determining that choices you make in life will be good ones.

In making wise choices we need to understand who God is and who we are not. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Proverbs 9:10). All in all this book contained helpful guidelines and illustrations to aid in decision making. There is a study guide at the back of the book which would be helpful for individual or group study.

Blogging for Books provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Keepers of the Covenant by Lynn Austin

"Keepers of the Covenant" by Lynn Austin is the second book in the Restoration Chronicles which focuses on the Old Testament books of Ezra and Nehemiah. No one does Biblical fiction better than Lynn Austin! She does an excellent job of bringing the people of the Old Testament to life, both the Jews and the Gentiles during the time of the exiled Jews in Babylon.

A decree is issued from the king's palace calling for the killing of every Jewish man, woman and child throughout the empire in a year's time. This decree and the situation behind it is detailed in the book of Esther. Faced with this threat, a quiet but intelligent scholar, Ezra is forced into a position of leadership of his fellow Jews during this time of crisis.

You understand the fear of the Jewish people and the threat facing them by their Gentile neighbors. Their stories both of the Jewish and Gentile people are intertwined as the events unfold. There are stories of despair and doubt countered with those of faith and hope. Ultimately, God's great love for His people who trust in Him is what comes to light throughout this story. I highly recommend this book for a look into the lives of the Israelites during this time. It will inform and encourage readers in their journey of faith.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Be the Message by Kerry and Chris Shook

"Be the Message" is a book that is both thought provoking and practical. Instead of just talking about the Christian faith, Kerry and Chris Shook demonstrate how to effectively live out that faith. It is not doing good works only, but allowing our faith in Christ along with the power of the Holy Spirit, to come alive in our thoughts, words and deeds. This book books challenges all of us as Christians to actively live out what we say we believe.

This book is divided into sections including Transforming your words into a life message; Discovering your unique life message; Understanding the message that confounds the world and Taking your life message to the world around you. After each chapter there are suggestions for Bible study and prayer as well as specific actions to take. This is a book that I will spend some time re-reading and working through each chapter. This would make a great individual or group study.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.