Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Review: The Deeper Life: Satisfying the 8 Vital Longings of Your Soul by Daniel Henderson

Review: The Deeper Life: Satisfying the 8 Vital Longings of Your Soul
Daniel Henderson
Bethany House

Henderson has identified several questions that most of us have or will have to answer in one way or another throughout our lives.  These are the questions that establish the basis for our decision making along the way, and how we conduct life in general.  You would think that would make them important, but if experience is any indicator, most of us play by ear as the needs arise.  So with that in mind this book could be very helpful to the person who is ready for a different approach to living.

The author has divided the book into two parts and follows them with some helpful appendices. He also added questions for discussion that can be used with or without a DVD series related to this material.  Part one is the discussion portion of the book and part two the interactive portion, the part that will require time and thought.  If you want some quick fix solutions this is not the book for you.  But, if you have discovered that quick fixes just are not enough, this is a book to consider.  

The intended goal of the author is to assist the reader in discovery and statement of personal purpose, value, identity, and values. Priorities and goals can be set based on that, and finally a legacy that matters can be achieved.  

Since this is a larger vision I can see its worth, but also know that very few will dedicate the time and effort to work through the exercises in this book.  For those considering a Christian vocation, this is essential, and some programs do have this sort of work included in the curriculum.  For the rest of us this book could be truly beneficial if we would follow through with the work required.  I also believe that this probably would be best accomplished with the help of a more mature individual that is trustworthy.

I do recommend this book and would encourage the reader to consider evaluating it for himself.

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a review.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Review: Restless: Because You Were Made for More, DVD and Book by Jennie Allen

Review: Restless: Because You Were Made for More, DVD and Book
Jennie Allen
Thomas Nelson

This review is for the DVD first and then the book.  It is a quality production DVD---well staged, lit, and recorded.   The price for the entire kit is reasonable and includes the DVD, study guide, leaders guide, and a discussion card set according to the information on a retail site.  

Allen is a vibrant and intense leader who seems genuinely passionate about what she is teaching.  This is a study with more practical application than many I have viewed.  A call to step up into a more committed and satisfying live.  Her illustrations and examples fit wonderfully with real life in today’s world, and they are not as gender specific as some studies which means that a guy could watch this and not feel left out.    

The last session seemed the weakest of those presented, but does close the study.  The success or failure of this study rests more with the participant than the presenter, I think.  So if you are ready to give that restless ache up, this might be a good place to begin. 

I do recommend this study based on what I saw in the DVD.  And since this DVD did not come with a study guide, I may order one just to see if it is useful to accomplishing the goal of this study and then bring to some folks I know.

This book, published in 2013 by Word Publishing an imprint of Thomas Nelson, is the companion to the DVD by the same name I reviewed earlier.  In this Allen expands her discussion of finding the place and dream that is unique to each individual—the place where all the pieces fit together as it becomes a place of satisfaction.  

After the introduction, the work begins in earnest.  If this program is followed the reader should gain some insight into a fuller life.  She points out early that the results are not guaranteed.  After reading through this I would say that the results depend on some honest work from the individual.  Fear to look into some of the questions will short circuit the process.  Yes, tissues will probably be needed.  

Each step is discussed, illustrated and then the reader is encouraged to work through some probing questions, the hard stuff we generally shove to the back.  The intent is to find a pattern, not to wallow in maudlin self-examination.   Allen reminds the reader that this study is meant for a short time of examination and then use the results to move forward.  The study is not designed for a solo flight.  Support during the process seems essential and necessary to obtain the most clear and accurate picture possible.  

So, for those that are restless and sensing it is time to do something about that, this is one study may be just what you need.  Check it out and decide.

This book and DVD were provided by the publisher for review.