Thursday, April 26, 2012

Not Going to Happen to Me!

by Jim Wideman, Sam Luce, and Kenny Conley
with Kristin Englund, Sherri Epperson, Craig Gyergyo, Deana Hayes, and Matt McDaniel

Yeah right, if you live in a total state of denial.  When a person creates for themselves a mini empire in the name of ministry - it will be conquered.   Not that any of us set out to take God’s place in what we are doing, but is just seems to be the natural inclination of a human being to take over even when we are supposed to be following Jesus’ will, heeding His call, and ministering in His name.

Eric is the Children’s Ministry Pastor of his Church.  He loves his job and believes he was made to do it.  If he didn’t have to deal with “undependable volunteers or clueless parents”, everything would be perfect.  But that is before reality comes crashing down on the oblivious Eric.  It isn’t as though Eric is a power hungry usurper trying to take over his church.  He’s a nice guy who has taken everything upon himself—everything!

Eric is a fictional conglomeration of way too many of us.  Through Eric’s story I find issues that I have had to deal with in the past and even now—stinkin’ delegation, but thankfully not all at once, like poor Eric.  Eric’s neat little ministry world comes crashing down in a horrendous week and its affects don’t stay at the church but involve his home life, too.

We can learn a lot from this fable about how we, as leaders, are deal with our position of leadership.  After each account of Eric’s fictional life there is “real life” encouragement from those who have fallen into their own Eric Trap but came through it wiser and determined to not make those mistakes again.

This is truly a Leadership Fable.  It’s focus is Children’s Ministries, however, any person in a leadership position will benefit from reading this.  Those of us in KidMin are not the only ones with leadership issues!
Want a copy for yourself?  Click here or on the title above!

Thanks go to Infuse Publishing for contacting me about reviewing this book.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dinosaur Hunting Adventure!

This is not a story about deep personal relationships.  This is a rollicking adventure ride.  We are chasing dinosaurs deep in the heart of Africa!  If you can’t already tell, I really enjoyed reading this story!  People looking for a touchy-feely emotional ride will not find that here.  This is straight up man against man, and man against beast.

After being ousted from his teaching position because of his anti-evolutionary beliefs, Professor Stephen Gregory is given the opportunity of a lifetime--a fully funded expedition to find out if there really are dinosaurs hidden in Africa.  At the same time, Game Warden Jim Thompson begins to track an unknown animal powerful enough to kill several elephants on the Masai Mara Game Reserve.  In each case everything points to the discovery of an animal no one has identified before, but will it be an elusive dinosaur and change the way the scientific world views evolution?  Or will they risk their lives for false beliefs and a chance at glory?

Like I said, it is a great story with a lot of background information as to the reasons why some scientists believe there are dinosaurs alive in the uncharted, at least by Westerners, parts of the African continent.
For more information about this book click here or the title above!

I received this book free of charge through the BookSneeze program in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Wonderful Book for any Parent

The 5 Love Languages of Children
I have listened to Gary Chapman’s radio program for a while now so I am fairly well acquainted with the Five Love Languages theory, but until know, I had not read any of the books about them.  I jumped at the chance to review this one. 

Being somewhat familiar with the love languages, I had guessed as to which ones fit my sons, who are 5 and 4 years old.  Five years is really the youngest age at which you can try to figure out which language is most dominant in a child.  After reading the book I believe I was pretty on target with my assessments—that’s the easy part.  The book delves into, not only how to figure out which love language is your child’s, but how to best discipline your child according to their love language, how they best learn, etc.

Reading through this book will most likely give you an idea of the love languages of all those who are close to you.  This could go a long way toward families finally understanding what make each other tick.

The Five Love Languages of Children is a wonderful resource for any parent, new or old, or anyone who is a parental figure in a child’s life.  Just think of the wonderful things that would happen for foster children if foster parents would get ahold of this and use it to understand the children who enter their homes….
For more information about this book, click here or the title above!

I received this book free of charge from Moody Publishers through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Angst Aplenty in a Small Texas Town

Blue Moon Bay, Lisa Wingate, 978-0-7642-0822-5

To be fair, the angst comes dragging into town with Heather, an uptight career woman, trying to get her flighty family to sell the family land so she can move on with her life elsewhere.  Memories, both good and bad, rush in to remind her the time she spent in Moses Lake when she was young.  Time she spent with her adored father, until a tragic accident befell the family.

Heather connects with her high school crush and finds out he was not as oblivious to her as she thought he was.  He isn’t quite what she thought he was and finds her feelings defiantly not left in the past.  But can she trust him?  He seems to be hiding something, along with her family.

Told in the first person, the story really did make me feel Heather’s frustration with the situation she finds herself in.  I wanted to ring some necks for her!  It was hard knowing she is a strong, successful woman in her career, and yet, she can’t seem to speak to her mother and brother in a productive way.  But I think that is probably the way it is for a lot of families.  You don’t grow out of the patterns that were established in adolescence.  We join Heather as she works to overcome the pain of her past and grow into a new woman.
To read the first three chapters--click here--or the title above!

I received this book free of charge from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Why We Need Jesus

Why do we need Jesus?  Because we have all sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.  This book, written with children in mind, tells the story of how sin came into this world and the only way it can be defeated.

This is not a typical children’s story Bible.  It is not an overview of the entire Bible; David, Jonah, etc., are not included.  And while all parts of the Bible are important, I believe it is the author’s intent to focus on the main message the Word of God delivers.  King of Glory is comprised of 70 “scenes” that relate the events from before Creation and ends with the promise of Christ’s return.  There is a heavy emphasis on how sin came to be and why we cannot atone for it ourselves setting the foundation for the reason of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.  Each scene has verses of Scripture surrounded by a narrative to give insight into the meaning of the verse.

My children are 4 & 5 and I was concerned that they wouldn’t want to listen to this book as I read it.  Even though each scene is only one page long it is packed with a lot of information.  I am happy to say that my boys listen quietly every time I read from this book to them, although I think most of it is over their heads still.  They really like the illustrations for each scene.  They are nice because they are realistic instead of cartoony.

This is a good book with a unique way of presenting the main message of the Bible to children.
For more information about this book and the upcoming movie, click here or the title above.

I received this book free of charge from BookCrash in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Every Day With Jesus is Sweeter than the Day Before….

1,000 Days : The Ministry of Christ, Jonathan Falwell

1000 Days is a survey of Jesus’ public ministry.  Jonathan Falwell works his way the approximately one thousand days Jesus spent teach, healing, and loving people on his way to the cross.  Interspersed are the author’s personal stories to show how he and his family have related to the subject at hand. 

The man loves Greek!  I have to admit that I like to read what the literal translation of a word is, and this book has plenty of them.   The book is written with a conversational tone, making it easy to read.  Each chapter has questions at the end to help you think about what you have read and challenge you to be more like Christ.  A Bible Study Guide at the end enables this book to be used in a small group setting.

1000 Days is best suited for those who are new to faith in Christ and are just starting to read the New Testament.  There is valuable insight into the life of Jesus as a whole, but for those who have been studying the Bible for a while will not find anything new here.  Like I said earlier, it is a survey, not an in depth study.
For more information on this book click here or on the title above!

I received this book free of charge from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.