Thursday, February 21, 2013

Review: Fixing My Eyes on Jesus: Daily Moments in His Word by Anne Graham Lotz

Review: Fixing My Eyes on Jesus: Daily Moments in His Word
Anne Graham Lotz

The introduction to this devotional series provides a wonderful illustration of what this author intends for the rest of this book, to point the reader toward the true north of life, Jesus.  Each day then seeks to continue in that course.  There’s encouragement, correction, teaching, and even reproof if the reader cares to look that deeply.  She does not shy away revealing some of her own “teachable moments.”  The tone is always gentle and infused with love.   Good way to start your day, or lift up a day that’s not going the way you’d hoped, or to prepare for the next day.  It reads well any time of the day. 

The author draws from the entire Bible for this series, primarily New Testament, but given the focus that is not unexpected or a flaw, but shows a balanced breadth of Scripture use, in my opinion. 

A few comments about the electronic version, which is the version I used for this review.  I received the version for Kindle.  It performed as expected for me.  It is searchable, has an active table of contents, allows notes, pretty much does it all without difficulty.  Only issue for me was the use of the old location numbers rather than page numbers. Don’t know if that is the review copy issue or not.

If you are looking for a devotional book, I would recommend this one to you.  

This book was provided for me in exchange for this review via BookSneeze.  

Monday, February 11, 2013

Review: The Briarpatch Gospel: Fearlessly Following Jesus into the Thorny Places by Shayne Wheeler

Review: The Briarpatch Gospel: Fearlessly Following Jesus into the Thorny Places
Shayne Wheeler
Tyndale Publishing House

A delight to read, but it isn’t fluff.  Wheeler engages the reader from the first page.  I found myself nodding in agreement, most of the time, with all he had to say.  This man knows how to communicate some serious stuff in ways that make you want to keep reading.  Even better he can inspire the reader to action related to the serious stuff.  

So what is the book about?  His experience and advice on entering the world of those least likely to show up in your church on Sunday morning including the courage to face your own prejudices and fears.  That’s all.  Told you it wasn’t fluff. 

What’s not to like here?  I can’t think of anything.  I would love to use this book for my small group.  That’s how much I like this book.  The publisher included discussion questions for just that sort of use, too.  

It is good to see more and more of this type of publishing appearing on the market.  A gentle encouragement for the reader as well as a subtle challenge.  I do recommend this book highly.

This book was provided by Tyndale Publishing in exchange for this review.

Review: A Rabbi Looks at the Last Days by Jonathan Bernis

Review: A Rabbi Looks at the Last Days
Jonathan Bernis
Chosen Books

To read this book is to step into another world that is largely unfamiliar to the average Christian reader or believer.   And that is a good thing to do.  The Rabbi in the title is a Messianic Jewish believer and his perspective is very different from the teachings I had received.  Yes, I know Jesus was a Jew by birth and practice, but I hadn’t given that much thought to be honest.  This book serves as a good starting point to examine my mindset and how that differs from his.  

He explores history, heritage and the role of Jews in history.  Then and now.  Some very good information here.  He also see the end times as dependent on the evangelization and redemption of the Jews.  He interprets some of the passages in Romans (among many others) from a different slant and one that has given me pause to consider more closely what he has written.  Whether I agree with him or no isn’t the point here.  The most important thing I received was the insight into how the Jewish community thinks and how they perceive Christians and Jesus, Himself.   

Yes, he mentions his own ministry and why not?  Well, I did find that a bit over the edge for the text portion of a book, and that will be my negative comment.  Not much to complain about here, obviously.  

I do recommend this book primarily for its introduction to the Messianic community and Jewish perspectives.  

This book was provided by Chosen Books in return for this review.