Monday, May 31, 2010

Jesus Manifesto - Leonard Sweet & Frank Viola

Both a devotional and a challenge, Jesus Manifesto is at once easy reading and difficult doing. The authors call Christians to put Christ at the center of everything they are and everything they do, as the cause and end, as the reason and the result. They remind us that if we truly understand what and who He is, we really have no choice.

Christianity began as men and women closely and clearly focused on Jesus and His example. It evolved (perhaps a better word, devolved) into systems, bureaucracies, and dogmas. Most religious systems, bureaucracies and doctrines can stand by themselves without any content of, or reference to, Jesus. But without Jesus at the center, it is not genuine Christianity. This book constantly reminds us how far we have departed from the origins of our faith, and how important it is that we return.

This book is important reading for both decision makers in the church, and for people in the pews. Decision makers, so that they can refocus their churches on the author and perfecter of our faith, and the people in the pews so they can understand genuine Christianity and discern the difference between that and the counterfeits all around them.

I greatly enjoyed this book, and recommend it highly.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of 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

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Wild at Heart, by John Eldredge - a review

Wild at Heart was originally published ten years ago. The author has slightly revised this anniversary edition and added some end material.

What was true ten years ago is still true today, and will be true until Jesus returns – a man needs to know his true self, and he needs to know how his true self relates to other men, to women, to the world, and to his God.

Eldredge convincingly argues that men have been denied knowing themselves at a deep spiritual level by wounds, both purposeful and accidental, in their childhood, and by a world that neither values nor understands their real nature. We are in a world at war, a war with an unseen but very real enemy, and men are born to be warriors engaged in that struggle. The problem is our world doesn't want warriors; it wants "nice men."

This book, along with others by Eldredge, is important reading for men who want to discover their true selves, and women, who want to understand true manhood and discover their own true womanhood. I suffered "the wound" myself, and for years compensated for that spiritual and injury by cutting myself off from people emotionally. Until I read this book, I was never able to articulate that pain. Wild at Heart helped complete the healing of that wound.

Click here for disclosure of material interest 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Getting Back To Normal...

It has been difficult these past weeks. Losing Pastor Ken was one of the most difficult things I have ever faced. There have been two men in my life that have made an indelible spiritual mark on me, and both of them died unexpectedly and way too young. Some of the shock of this most recent loss is wearing off, but the disbelief and grief are still raw. The numbness is better, but the pain is fresh.

In the middle of all that, my mom suffered a stroke and died. For a few days, things seemed almost overwhelming. It seemed that the whole world was saturated with tears and adrenaline.

As many of us have said in the past few weeks – without God, how could anyone face this? And I am quick to add – and a church family. I cannot count the times someone from our church has comforted me, encouraged me, shed tears with me, prayed for and with me, and fed me.

Of course, they are one and the same. God chooses to work in the world through His people.

Hmmm... bet there is a sermon in there somewhere.