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Double Book Review

December 5, 2015 — Leave a comment

The Carols of Christmas
By Andrew Gant

I was very excited to get this book because I think these days there is a disconnect with the songs we sing and understanding why they even exist in the first place. It showed up at my door at a time when I was doing a sermon series at my church on the correlation of christmas carols to the gospel and this was very helpful. This book has a nice feel and has a good number of songs. Of course it can’t cover all of them but I did feel there were a few obvious ones like “i heard the bells on christmas day” that were missing. However that could just be my hang up.
The author is a professor and church musician and sadly this comes across as more of a text book in some ways. With that said it is chock full of interesting facts and connections. I think for those who are not passionate about history and music and maybe looking for a light story read, it may be a bit of a bore. For people like me it was quite enjoyable and I am glad I got this.
3 of 5 stars

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The Miracle in the Middle
Finding God’s Voice in the Void
By Charlotte Gambill

In the middle…
When you are tired and stuck in the valley.
Sounded like the book to me. I had been through times of burnout in life and ministry and spent a lot of time researching and studying this topic. I loved Charlotte’s creative example of being on a trip with kids and them asking constantly “are we there yet”. Being a dad with 4 kids, this hit home for me.
I think this is fantastic book and what I loved most about it is that it doesn’t give you all the answers. It leaves room for not only the mystery of God but for the reader to have to use their brain and pray through the content.
This is not a quick read. Not because it’s a long book but instead because each chapter really needs to digest inside.
Seems to be a trend, but this book spurred on a sermon that I preached about being stuck in the middle between a promise and the promised land. I applaud any author who has the guts to write about the realities of real life’s frustrations and teaches biblically how to deal with such feelings.
4 of 5 stars

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers 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.”

Book Review- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by: Marie Kondo

I would normally consider myself a professional organizer who’s lack of consistency with it gives the perception that I am not. I love the idea of a clean home and we clean our house every week. There does seem to be a difference between the IDEA of a clean home and an ACTUAL clean home.

We have four kids who all have different levels of a hoarders mentality. If they say that was inherited from myself or my wife, we will deny that to the grave! The reality is that every sat my wife try to wrangle our kids and work them into a cleaning frenzy to tackle the daunting hurricane of legos, books, dirt, garbage, and clothing.

My wife believes in cleaning a little bit each day, but for 8 years I have worked from home and learned that I am quite possibly the worst housewife on this planet. When I got this book to review I was intrigued and excited to learn something that might transform our dysfunctional and disturbing system.

Jumping right into reading I learned that this woman was going to get right into it. She is a bold, simple and very clear writer. Many of the insights give you a picture of a small Japanese home in Tokyo, but eventually you begin to realize that what she is saying makes perfect sense.

She instructs that the concept of tidying up a little daily is foolish and will never result in cleanliness or sanity. Instead she recommends to take everything in categories like, clothes or books and then put them on the floor of one room. Afterwards you are to pick up each item to determine if you will keep it or discard it. So what is the criteria? How long since it has been used? Is it broken or dirty?

No… She says to simple hold it and ask “Does this SPARK JOY”

I am greatly intrigued by her approach to each item, how she organizes and how she folds clothes. My wife is currently reading the book and we plan to attempt this. The clothes should be easy, but I think the books may be hard for me. Kondo says that the less books in your home the greater the impact of the content.

I am going to rate this book a PRE- 5 out of 5 stars because while I loved the book, the rating may change when I attempt to actually do this in my home. Stay tuned…

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this BOOK free from Blogging for books 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 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.”

 

My Reviews

March 3, 2009 — Leave a comment

I wanted to post a list of my reviews I have done so you can get a chance to look at them.

I have a new review feature that will be showing up here, called “the joint”, that you don’t want to miss, but until then you need to catch up.

Books

Worship Matters: Bob Kauflin
The Shack: William P. Young
They Like Jesus Not the Church: Dan Kimball
Blue Like Jazz: Donald Miller
90 Minutes in Heaven: Don Piper

Planning Blended Worship: Robert Weber
Dangerous Act of Worship: Mark Labberton
Save Me From Myself: Brian “Head” Welch
The Barbarian Way: Erwin Mcmanus
God Songs: Paul Baloche
Unchristian
Jim and Casper Go to Church
The Gospel According to Starbucks
In a Pit with a Lion on a snowy Day

The Wild Goose Chase

CD’s

Klaus: Glory-an evening of worship
Joel Augé: On the Blue
Leeland: Opposite Way
Worth Dying For
Deluge: Live
Lincoln Brewster: Today is the Day
Sojourn Music: Before the Throne of God Above
David Crowder Band: Remedy
Matt Redman: Best of
Sara Groves: Add to the Beauty
Brian Doerksen: Holy God
Vicky Beeching: Painting the Invisible
Hillsong United: All of the Above


Multi-Angle Reviews from The Worship Community

Hillsong London: Hail to the King
Kari Jobe: Kari Jobe
Freddy Rodriguez: Champions Live

Sitepoint: a great resource and book company is offering a free download of one of their books.

The Photoshop Anthology: 101 Web Design Tips, Tricks & Techniques is the ultimate Photoshop compendium for web designers.

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