Fight: Winning the Battles that Matter Most by Craig Groeschel [REVIEW]

_240_360_Book.901.coverCraig Groeschel isn’t funny. That’s probably harsh to say about a guy I’ve never met, seeing as how reading such a comment written by someone else towards me would probably hurt my feelings. But I think he knows his jokes are bad–most preachers do. But they still spit punchlines like their paycheque depends on it.

What does that have to do with Groeschel’s new book Fight? Well, if anyone has watched/listened to one of his sermons, you would recognize that he writes in a similar voice. Fight is posed as a book for men, and the general audience target seems to be men married with children–although the content is not exclusive. Groeschel’s basic premise is that all men will have battles that they must fight in life, and God provides the strength we all need to fight like the “warrior” God has made us to be, using the story of Samson in the Bible as an example of everything men should NOT be like.

Maybe I’m simply not the intended target, Continue reading “Fight: Winning the Battles that Matter Most by Craig Groeschel [REVIEW]”

Review: “The Gospel According to Jesus” by Chris Seay

People are not good or bad; they are simply broken, and God has either restored them to shalom or is seeking to restore them to shalom. Imagine seeing people as “broken shalom” or “shalom,” rather than good or bad. If you see them in the midst of broken shalom, it does not allow you to look down on them; instead, it calls you to join God in his redemptive work in their lives. What a beautiful privilege. — pg. 148

When I got my hands on Chris Seay’s The Gospel According to Jesus, I anticipated reading another book where an author attempts to write something “new” about God and the Gospel when in reality they end up simply preaching sermons I’ve heard many times on Sundays–nothing new under the sun.

The Gospel According to Jesus may not rewrite Scripture, but Seay certainly makes a good attempt to raise issues of interpretation that have run rampant for years, blurring the Gospel Continue reading “Review: “The Gospel According to Jesus” by Chris Seay”

Review: “Max on Life” by Max Lucado

I’ve read a few books by Max Lucado in the past, and I can see why his writing is so appealing to readers, and why his books and material is in high demand. He’s incredibly insightful, and has an ability to take a difficult theological subject, and describe it in simple layman’s terms, accessible to anybody.

This is likely the reason Lucado has received so many one-off questions throughout his career as a minister and author. People seek out that simplified answer to their problems. And Lucado handles the questions listed one-by-one on each page of this book with minimal ease. Yes, he could likely write a book on each subject that this book and the questions are subdivided into, making the answers short and shallow. But I don’t think the people asking the questions were looking for a 400-page textbook. Continue reading “Review: “Max on Life” by Max Lucado”

Review: “The Boy Who Changed the World” by Andy Andrews

The Boy Who Changed the World by Andy Andrews is a wonderful story of how the small things we do and the choices we make day-by-day can have an impact for years to come and on people whom we will likely never meet.

The illustrations are beautiful for kids of any age. However, I found the stories themselves to be at a higher age level than the illustrations themselves would let on. Even reading this book to someone, I think, would be over the heads of children 5 years of age and younger. It easily could have been dumbed-down even further than the original stories to reach a broader reading audience. It’s also heavily Americanized. Perhaps this is the target audience the author intended for; but I recognized many nuances and assumptions within the stories that were particular to an American audience. As noted below, extended versions of each story would help this.

This was a book I was hoping to gift to my 5 year old nephew. I think he will appreciate it, but may not take the point of the story to heart until he is older. But perhaps I am short-changing some kids of that age. These are just my initial thoughts.

I could see this book separated into four books, by the four stories it tells. Each story in and of itself would be fascinating and magical for children to consider and listen to the deeper details of the children’s lives, so that they can further relate with the characters. Creating a series of books would allow for deeper thought to each story, while encouraging reading each book, and ending off with the “big idea” that this book ends off with. I would recommend this book for 5-10 year olds.

I just finished reading Plan B by Pete Wilson, and I wanted to give a few impressions of the book. If I had stars, it would get a 3 1/2 out of five. It was a good book. The first four chapters were a bit slow, and uninteresting. But then there were a few chapters that hit home more with my own life experience.

The book reads like a sermon. Each chapter starts off with a story of someone who has experienced loss, and then Wilson adapts his next point around it. I would recommend the book to those who are seriously doubting their faith in God, as Wilson offers up a lot of hope for those who just aren’t sure.

What I appreciated the most about Plan B is that Wilson doesn’t claim to have all the answers. Instead he reminds the reader of the God whom they serve, and the kind of faithfulness He has shown throughout Scripture, and that we can have that same hope in God, even if things don’t work out as expected.

I would recommend this book to those who are feeling like they have somehow missed plan A and have been forced to move on to plan B.

I’ve now been married for 9 months. Considering how long I intend to be married, I suppose this isn’t a long time. Nonetheless, since we are still renting, I have had the future prospects of mortgages on my mind since tying the knot. (A man’s gotta provide a roof for his family!) So the opportunity to read and review Mind Your Own Mortgage by Robert J. Bernabe was an easy one to accept.

While this is another book taking advantage of the cultural subject matter at hand–reflecting upon the housing boom and resulting crash of the past ten years, the book was both incredibly informative and invaluable for a newbie like myself who is new to the housing market, and I don’t doubt it’s usefulness for those looking for some practical advice for something they may have many years of experience from.

Bernabe spends most of the book peddling his MYOM formula, which is a good formula by the way. But most of all I appreciate the time he spent in encouraging the reader to be a responsible spender, repeatedly reminding the reader that when you have a mortgage, any other unessential purchase you make is costing you much more in the end due to the option of using excess cash to pay down your mortgage, and thus paying less interest through amortization. I look at this as the best possible viewpoint I can have as a future new homeowner.

Bernabe also stresses the importance of shopping based on cost, instead of interest rate and payment. I’m actually excited to apply the knowledge he provides and the system he’s developed aided by the extras made available on MindYourOwnMortgage.com. But having completed the read and wanting to apply what I’ve learned, I’m in an unfortunate position now to see how these American rules might be similar to the Canadian rules of mortgages I find myself in. Most of the ideas will be very similar, but of course, it was the Canadian market that did not crash as hard. So I am anticipating differences in the process.

Now I am left to search for a Canadian equal to Bernabe’s excellent homeowner’s guide. Any suggestions?