Friday, July 27, 2012

Review: You're Stronger than You Think: The Power to Do what You Feel You Can't by Dr. Les Parrott

Review: You’re Stronger than You Think: The Power to Do What You Feel You Can’t
Dr. Les Parrott
Tyndale House Publishers

This book is a great start place for anyone who is tired of feeling helpless, hopeless, and all those other discouraging words that you hear from within or without. If you’re ready to lose that, start here. This book has a companion workbook and an opportunity to access an online strengths profile. After reading through this book I would suggest investing in both of those items, too.

Early on Dr. Parrott promises no psychobabble and holds to that promise. He draws from his own experience, the experiences of others, and a copious number of professional studies to back up his observations and advice. And yes, he does included Biblical references where they are pertinent. Other sources are interspersed with that, as well.

He organizes his book around some familiar points, heart, mind, and soul. Each section examines the strengths available and some of the barriers to utilizing those strengths. He does not cover anything truly revolutionary, but uses the familiar to help his readers understand more clearly. So if you are looking for some novel fix-it, this book is not for you. His way will require some earnest work on the reader’s part. It will be worth it.

His writing style is easy to read with none of the academic jargon. The presentation seems almost too easy in fact and that may be a draw back for some reader’s. It will be easy to devour it quickly and miss the import of what he has to say. So, slow down. That’s where the workbook will so helpful if you’re serious.

I do recommend this book to you.

I received this book for review from Tyndale House Publishers.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Review: Relentless Pursuit: God's Love of Outsiders by Ken Gire inclusing the outsider in all of us

Review: Relentless Pursuit: God’s Love of Outsiders including the outsider in all of us
Ken Gire
Bethany House Publishers

Poignancy, insights, revelation and even humor from time to time. It’s all in Ken Gire’s Relentless Pursuit. That’s what I found in this book. Gire uses his own life as an example, along with others to be sure, to illustrate the love of God and His untiring desire to re-gather His people to Himself.

Gire makes several references to the poem The Hound of Heaven, which I had never read before and it is included in this book. It is quite a poetic endeavor and I recommend it to this reader. Gire also mentions toward the conclusion of his book a reading of this poem that can be found online that helped me appreciate it even more. Do check that out, but this isn’t about the poem, but Gire’s book.

The title confused me. Outsiders? Who is the outsider? The guy that doesn’t go to my church, the lost, the high school student that has been unfriended?

Gire has organized Relentless Pursuit into discreet chapters with a set of questions at the conclusion of each one. The book may be used in a study group or for private meditation. As the contents page reveals, he works his way through the idea of pursuit. What it is, who is pursued, and who does the pursuing and some of the whys. Along the way the reader will meet several Biblical people who were well acquainted being outsiders and pursued, but this is not a character study of Biblical persons. In fact this is not a typical Bible study. This book is about the Author and His continuing interaction with Gire, hence “relentless pursuit”.

As I read through this I kept finding myself walking with him in a common experience. The pursuit does not end for Gire when he became part of the redeemed family of God, but continues into his life as a believer, too. Although that is not a new bit of information, Gire’s treatment of how that has worked in his life is. That is the value of this book in my opinion and is the reason I will recommend it to you.

The reader may find Gire’s style here a bit scattered, but as you will learn there is a reason for that. So stay with him and then ponder what he has said. It is well worth it.

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for this review.