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Jesus A Theography Review

March 11, 2014 — 1 Comment

_80_140_Book.705.coverJesus
A Theography
By Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola

I had the Privilege of hanging, along with a small group of people, at an event to hear Leonard Sweet speak. The man is brilliant and I am honestly in awe of his brain. Full disclosure here…I received this book about a year ago and have not had the chance to review it. I also have every intention of reading it over again, not because I have forgotten about it, but because it is such a good read.

This is like an adult version of the Jesus storybook bible, but without pictures.
Jesus says, “The Scriptures point to me!” (John 5:39 NLT). This book draws our eyes to the attention of the narrative of scripture. That it isn’t just a bunch of stories jammed into a book and is instead one story broken up into parts.

This book gives the reader so much insight as it jumps from genesis to revelation. It is a compendium of THE STORY which gives is insight into the character of Jesus and His revelation through scripture.

It is not a short book and requires thought, but I think it is an amazing companion the the bible. It helps the reader truly appreciate the voice of God in the word as they are given new eyes in the “STORY” of Jesus.

So with that said… I will be reading it again.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from booklook to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

I am a huge fan of Pete Wilson as a pastor, blogger, parent and aquiantence. Pretty much anything he says I want to hear. I read his first book “plan B” three times and am currently discussing it in my churches small group. Because of this when I received an advance copy of “empty promises” I was very excited. Sadly it took me a little longer to get to than I’d hoped. This morning as I fed my kids breakfast I cracked it open and in about an hour I had digested the whole thing. (I am a fast reader)

This book was fantastic. I have been in ministry for a long time now and feel the mid-ministry crisis coming on strong recently. Frustration, creative longing, and a feeling of plowing through cement.  Pete’s first book really gave me clarity into my multiple plan b’s and c’s, but this one gave me new insight into fears and failures. It covered idols and worship of something other than God. I find myself needing to do a self analysis after reading this because I realized I was dealing with many of the issues in the first 3 chapters.

I love the title of the book but for my sake I think I will change it to: “the contentment pill”. In the peaks and valleys of a life filled with broken dreams and empty promises the real issue comes down to ; will you find your contentment in Christ. There is no pill you can take, no idol you can replace Him with, no that or relationship that will give you that.

We are all so good a preaching what is written in this book, but we all need to daily trust God and be still and “know” that He alone is all we need.

Go buy this book and if you haven’t read plan b buy it too!

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Grace Effect
How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief
By Larry Taunton

I received this book to review a few months ago and I have to say it was an ok read. In the book he uses his adoption of his youngest daughter from the world of communism as the underbed for his book. He uses it to basically to show that God’s grace exists through the presence of Christians. He comes to great conclussions with beautiful examples however I just could not get into this book.

I remember reading Blue like jazz which had a “blog” style of writing and this one is very similar. I have never been able to get into books that are written like that because they feel liked pieced together posts jammed into a cover. I love the hope he gives us that shows us that no world or situation are beyond redemption from “the grace effect”. So basically I love his discussion and story, but find that his writing style bothered me.

He also loved to jam in giant words and drawn out sentences just for the sake it. Long story short it was an ok read with a great topic and hope but in a writing style that I found to be bothersome at times.

With that said I think it is worth the read but there are better books on grace like from Yancy and others.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sun Stands Still by Steven Furtik

I received this book to review over a year ago and have been slow to post a review of it. It might be because I am lazy, but it is also because I have read it multiple times. I have devoured it’s content and even discussed it in a small group that I lead.

This is one amazing book derived around the story in the bible where the sun actual did stand still because God responded to an audacious prayer. I have learned a lot through reading this. I love how furtick lays out the need for us to not only dream big but pray with ferver and without ceasing. This topic was greatly needed for me for prayers for my family, ministry, work and other things. I run a multichurch prayer meeting with a friend of mine and we have been dreaming huge things for it and our community. I am now making sure to pray prayers like in this book.

My only beef with what furtick wrote is in a chapter where he discusses boring prayer. He makes a case that boring prayer is less effective and we need plead a case before God. I have thought and prayed about that a bunch and have come to the conclusion that boring is subjective. Boring to whom? I personally believe that if we come to God in prayer he is never bored, but hears and listens to everything we say to Him.

In the end that one small disagreement doesn’t mean that this book isn’t valuable because it is. Read it… act on it… teach it… and live it.

An amazing book from an inspiring pastor doing great and audacious things for God.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from waterbrook multnomah to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Ascent from Darkness
How Satan’s Soldier Became God’s Warrior
By:Michael Leehan

I recently got this book from the Blogging for Books program with Thomas Nelson. I did not know what to expect, but judging from it’s description I had I feeling I would be in for a wild ride. Crazy enough the day I received the book I went to the ER for a false alarm and had to sit in a bed with an IV for almost 6 hours. That is where I started the book. The next morning I woke up and neglected the things I needed to do and had it finished in 2 more hours. I could not put this book down.

I have read many books on the occult, satanists, and spiritual warfare, but something about this book was different. The way Michael told his story was riveting and also disturbing. It is a true story of a man whose life spirals into utter turmoil when he rejects Christ and literally sells his soul to Satan. Michael goes through a journey of torment from demons, satanic rituals, killings, drugs, sex and everything in-between. The devil tells him to destroy the church by infiltrating it, sleeping with the women and confusing the men. The book takes us through his whole life and how he handled those issues and that later he is instructed by Satan to kill pastor of lifechurch.tv, Craig Groeschell.

In the end there is redemption and Christ turns everything on it’s head.

At the risk of this review acting as a spoiler I don’t want to go far into describing this story. I LOVED IT. There are so many instances that really had me think harder about the spiritual realm that I had not before. The fact that when he tried to destroy churches he could not be in the room during worship really floored me because it was a testament to how powerful our praise really is.

Then his transformation…WOW! Now that was just amazing how God showed himself and the battles he could see.

I think if you can handle some disturbing “images” that everybody should read this book. We need a reminder of how great the transforming power of Christ is. We need to remember that there is another world that we don’t spend enough time thinking about. We need to be focused on the battle daily. Go read this book!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”