Archives For Review

The Vertical Self How Biblical Faith Can Help Us Discover Who We Are in An Age of Self Obsession

By Mark Sayers

I recently had the privileged of receiving this book in the mail via Thomas Nelson Publishing.

I was really excited to get this book because it looked very interesting. It talks about returning to a life of Holiness. It is a book about being less self absorbed or “horizontal” and having our eyes fixed on Christ “vertical”.

I personally love books that deal with our identity because I believe it is one of the biggest struggles we as Christians have. Who do we get our identity from? Are our eyes pointed upward or do we continue to look to our environment and peers as our barometer for how we should act and ultimately be.

While the insights are butt kicking and inspiring I felt the actual writing of this book made it a bit monotonous to read. Make no mistake, the content of this book is much needed in the church today and it has some fantastic points. It is a must read, but I just was not a fan of the writing style. It did not keep my interest and therefore it became a bit of work to get through it.

Bravo to Mark for tackling a subject that we as the church seem to forget about and that is Jesus calls us to be like Him and He always looked to the father. Hopefully this book will inspire more to start looking vertically.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

I had the honor and privilege to receive a pre-release copy of “Sex, Lies & Religion” by Randy Elrod and I was able to read it in one day. The question you may ask yourself is “1 day?…must have been short”. It is not a long book at 166 pages, but it is a riveting book. I was not able to put it down.

A year ago I was able to meet Randy in person and talk with him. What I encountered was a man of integrity and transparency. A Godly man with a great marriage. This alone made me want to read whatever he put out.

This is a book that tries to debunk the old church rules about sex and nudity. It talks about the history of our creation and what we were created for. It delves into the connection between sexuality and spirituality starting first with nudity and sex onto our longing for God.

I am an artist and have drawn nudes and been around that culture a long time, but I am also aware of how much the nude body terrifies the main stream church. Randy talks about the lies that are out there and delves into teaching the reader how to achieve freedom from the way we have always been taught. There is a difference between “beauty” and Pornography” and Randy gives us a pretty great check list to determine that.

There is so much in this book to go over and re-read. I will be reading it for a second time next week and will probably need to blog again about it to really dig deeper.

A great quote from the book which really stood out to me was:

“Simply gather a handful of the succulent fruit described in this chapter and your mate will be literally eating out of your hand while racing you to the bedroom for an endless time of wild and abandoned lovemaking.”

Randy goes on to talk about the Fruit of the spirit and making that the most important Foreplay in a marriage. Something I am sure we all need a reminder of daily.

Last but not least it talks about communion and the sacraments. For the sake of a long post I won’t get into it, but let me tell you the connection he makes to the above is amazing.

Folks, this is a must read and maybe the top book I recommend this year. It’s not very often you will hear me say I need to read it again.

Do yourself a favor and order this book, but order it with an open mind because it will challenge you.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from cre:ate 2.0 Publishing to read and post a review on my site. 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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> >  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

I received another book from the Thomas Nelson Booksneeze program. This one is called “This is Your Brain In Love” by Dr. Earl Henslin.

I have been married for over 12 years now so anything I can read about how to keep passion going, how to fix communication or how to realize how many issues are my fault (I hate that part) I will read.

This book is about identifying your “love style” and talks about scientific research into brain scans. Now I know what you are thinking now that you just read that line. BORING! Amazingly enough I read this book in about an hour and it kept my attention just fine.

I really liked his take on the sacrament of Sex and how sex is typically tacked on almost as an addendum to marriage or a perk. Dr. Earl tries to make you realize that sex and spirituality go hand in hand in creating a healthy marriage.

After that he discusses the issues in our brains and how to have healthy brains so we can eliminate issues.

He identifies the five types of lovers, with ground-breaking insights and effective solutions for the challenges presented by each:

* Scattered Lover
* Over-focused Lover
* Blue Mood Lover
* Agitated Lover
* Anxious Lover

There are 5 tests in the book and it teaches you to analyze the results. They are simple 3 minute tests. I learned a lot by them, but I also ranked broderline on every test. I don’t know if that means I’m am only slightly screwed up or if it means that I have every one of the issues he discusses.

Either way this was a great read with valuable insight. I am passing it along to my wife this week so we can talk some of the topics through. I would recommend this book to anybody who is married even if you are “issue free”.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thanks to the generosity of the folks at Thomas Nelson publishing and their Book Sneeze program I was able to review:
The gospel according to LOST by Chris Seay

I was so excited to get this book in the mail and it was all I could talk about. I am a huge LOST fan. I would almost say I am obsessed with the show. It has intricate plots, amazing character development, and brilliant suspense. There has always been a Pseudo spiritual undercurrent with the show and the book tries to take that one step further by dissecting it for us with the spiritual side as the emphasis.

The chapters are broken up quite brilliantly comparing characters to their flaws or strengths and using it as a model for people around us or our own lives.

It does a ton of recapping of the show in the book. I understand why this was done because many who read this may have never seen the show, but to me it became a flash back episode. It was that episode where you go “oh man I thought it was NEW tonight” and then you turn it off. Sadly 1/2 of this book was just that for me.

Most of the insights into the characters and enlightenment he gives us about the spiritual struggles were really eye opening while others just too obvious.

The artist who painted the icons in the book for each chapter really did a great job and I love the whole atmosphere of the book because of it.

Sadly though this book was a flop for me because 50% of it was recap of a show that I am all too familiar with.
If you have seen the show..its a good read. If you are obsessed with the show probably not. If you have never seen the show. See it and read this book.

I give this one 2 out of 5 stars

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Kabul 24: Book Review

December 12, 2009 — Leave a comment

Kabul 24:
The Story of a Taliban Kidnapping and Unwavering Faith in the Face of True Terror
By Ben Pearson & Henry Arnold

I got this book a month or so back from Thomas Nelson publishing and honestly did not know what to expect.

What I got was more than just a story about Taliban Kidnappings. What I read was a story of hope and of faith that never faltered ever.

Description: The story of the capture and imprisonment of eight Western aid workers in Afghanistan by the Taliban.

For three months in 2001, the desperate plight of aid workers kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan captured the attention of the world. With the growing specter of U.S. retaliation for 9/11, the Taliban and Osama bin Laden attempted to use their Western hostages as bargaining tools. What the captors did not count on was coming face-to-face with the enduring faith of people who know their only hope was in Christ.

Kabul 24 revisits their grueling interrogations, their sham trials before the Taliban Supreme Court, their peril during the bombing of Kabul, and the crushing sense that the world had abandoned them. It reveals not only the eight Westerners’ 105 days in captivity but also the gauntlet endured by their 16 Muslim coworkers who, after being taken to the notorious Pulicharki Prison, were beaten and tortured, having been accused by the Taliban of converting to Christianity.

I have known people in my life personally that have experiences like this.take from their families and homes. This true story about 8 western aids works getting kidnapped is absolutely amazing. I have read many testimonies similar, but for some reason I really connected with the people in this one.
It was amazing to see then much like Paul int the bible…they prayed and read the word and sometimes even sang in worship.

Overall it was a good read but very simple. The writing was a bit tedious at times and failed to capture my attention. I found myself identifying with the people and their plight but getting bored by the writing.

Sadly the writing style retracted from the inspiring story and at times made it a chore to read.