Saturday, December 17, 2011

Chazown by Craig Groeschel

Everyone is born with a purpose and Craig Groeschel is passionate about helping each of us find out exactly what that purpose (Chazown) is and how to best accomplish it. The book explains that Chazown is the Hebrew word for a dream, revelation or vision. Craig Groeschel goes on further to explain that we each have a specific Chazown for our lives but most of us live each day having no idea what it is. The author uses a quote from Sir Francis Drake that i find quite inspiring and sums up the author desire for his readers:

Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves. When our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little, when we arrive safely because we have sailed too close to the shore. Disturb us, Lord.

This should be the prayer of every Christian who truly believes in the power and promises of God!

Chazown is a very methodical book. Chapter by chapter is helps you to not only understand your Chazown but also how to design a strategy for accomplishing it. This is done through exercises that will help you to know yourself better by exploring your spiritual gifts, core beliefs, and past experiences in addition to setting long and short term goals. Myself, being an A Type personality, really enjoyed this book. I am a list maker, I love charts and graphs and personal discovery. However, if you are not that type of personality you may find this book to be nothing more than work.

While I did really enjoy this book I have to admit that the last half of the book lost me. It was very well written and it is necessary information but I do not agree with the author in his belief that in order to accomplish the purpose for your life you must first have these last few items in order. I do not believe that a person has to be perfect before God will or can use them. In fact, I believe quite the opposite. The Bible is riddled with people who in fact did not have every part of their lives in order. I firmly believe that each one of us is designed with our own specific purpose for our lives. I also believe that we would all be much happier and treat others better if we knew what our purpose was and were busy accomplishing it. With that being said, if we all must wait until we have the smaller things in life perfect like our work, relationships with people and health then we will spend all of our time working on those things and never getting around to accomplishing our vision.

This is a very good book but I encourage you as the reader not to get bogged down in the last half by believing that you must accomplish those things mentioned there before understanding or pursuing your purpose in life.

Chazown by Craig Groeschel (Chapter 1)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through their 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.”

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Abundant Life Day Book by Nancy Guthrie

This book was written to remind the reader on a daily basis of God's blessings for their life. Nancy Guthrie wrote each blessing as though God himself was speaking directly to the reader. The blessing on each page is accompanied by the scripture from which the blessing was taken.

I love the idea of reminding yourself each day of just how blessed we really are as God's children. I like that the author chose to write as though God were speaking directly to the reader. I believe this helps the reader connect with the blessings personally. I also respect that Nancy Guthrie is very clear in her Introduction of the book that although she has taken the liberty to write as though God were speaking the only thing on each page that has any authority at all is the scripture that is at the top of each page.

I have sought to be faithful to God's Word  in expounding on it and applying it using this literary device, and have done so with a sense of holy fear, prayerfully seeking to be one "who correctly explains the Word of Truth" (2 timothy 2:15)
I recommend this book either as a gift for someone who needs to be reminded of how blessed and beautiful they are or just as a gift for yourself. I would also like to point out that the design of the book's cover, sleeve and bookmark are just as beautiful as the book's contents.

We are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus,
so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
- Ephesians 2:10
Your life is a product of my handiwork. You are who you are because of my doing, because of my grace at work in your life. I've re-created you with a grand purpose in mind, and nothing can keep that divine decree from being accomplished-not your old nature that wars against you, and not the spiritual weakness that plagues you. Despite your daily battles with temptation and the ongoing opposition of the enemy, the outcome of your union with Christ will be holiness. This holiness no only perseveres but also advances. My plans for your life are not just to make you beautiful but to make you useful. I want to bless your  life by using you to bless the world around you with the grace and truth of Jesus. (Abundant Life Day Book pg. 298)
“I received this book for free from the publisher for this review”.

Monday, December 12, 2011

New Living Translation Give A Way

Tyndale Blog Network wanted to let you know about a great giveaway happening over at the New Living Translation Facebook page, and also give you a chance to enter a Tyndale Blog Network exclusive giveaway.

Here are the NLT Facebook page giveaway details:

Starting on November 29th until December 24th at the New Living Translation Facebook page we're giving away lots of great prizes and something free for you just for singing up.
By visiting the giveaway entry page (located on the NLT Facebook page, the link is under the profile picture) and entering your name and e-mail address you'll be entered to win the following prizes:
  • One random person each day will win a Life Application Study Bible Family Pack (Guys Life Application Study Bible hc, Girls Life Application Study Bible hc, Student's Life Application Study Bible hc, Life Application Study Bible hc, Life Application Study Bible Large Print hc).
  • One Random person each week will win an Apple iPad 2!
Everyone that signs up gets a free download copy of the Life Application Bible Study – Book of Luke!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Why Men Hate Going To Church-by David Murrow

Why Men Hate Going To Church tries to reveal the real reasons why the number of men in church congregations has been steadily decreasing over the past few decades and warns us that if we don't change something soon not only our congregations but our clergy will be utterly devoid of the male persuasion.

This book is broken up into three parts:

Part 1 - Where Are The Men
  • Gives us a picture of what happened to the church that started to drive men away and when it happened
  • Gives us a surprising distinction between the Lamb of God and the Lion of Judah and how each is portrayed in the church 
  • Gives us insight into the kind of men who are missing from the church. 

Part 2 - Church Culture vs. Man Culture
  • Tells us the twelve things men fear about church
  • Talks about the affects of Contemporary Worship and Modern church lingo on men
  • How churches feminize over time
  • How we are driving our young boys away from the Christian Faith

Part 3 - Calling The Church Back To Men
  • Explains why Mega Churches are it's not because they have more money and resources.
  • How men relate to Pastors 
  • How to teach men
  • How men minister to others and to other men
  • How churches like Willow Creek, Saddle Back, and Mars Hill saw the problem and changed their church culture to attract men

I found this book to be very helpful and for the most part true. I am not a girlie girl so I too have struggled with some of the same issues that this book talks about concerning church. David Murrow does address the fact that there are some women who think more along the lines of the typical male mind and that they too are struggling with our modern church culture. There were only a couple of places in the book where I disagreed with the author concerning reasons why men don't attend church. My husband and I have discussed these areas and he agreed that a couple of the reasons stated in the book are not reasons but rather excuses. However, all in all, this book is dead on. 

I do highly recommend this book for any church member or pastor who has noticed that a certain portion of the male population has gone missing from their congregation. Read some of the insights in this book then take a look at your church atmosphere and see if the book isn't correct.

My only concern with this book is that some may take it too far the other direction and use this as an excuse to demean or dominate women which is not what the author intended nor God. We must have a balance so that all can learn, thrive, and serve!

Book Give-A-Way Winner Announced!

Congratulations to Maria Gale the winner of Auntie M's book give-a-way. Maria will receive a copy of Dr. David Jeremiah's book "I Never Thought I'd See The Day!"

Thank you to all who entered. Keep your eyes open for Auntie M's Newsletter coming in January 2012 for more contests, interesting articles, and more...