Posted in Book Reviews

Reimagine Retirement by C. J. Cagle

Content

Reimagine Retirement, by C.J. Cagle is a great read. For those who are retired and those planning to retire, don’t miss this encouraging, yet informative resource.

Stewardship

Cagle focuses on the stewardship principle, but has the Gospel at the center. God created work and rest, not going on vacation all of the time, during retirement.

Work and Rest

Cagle includes helpful diagrams, such as the Work-Rest Cycle, to help illustrate his points. He even recommends other helpful resources by other authors, to help the reader further research this topic.

Review

The book flows well, has good information, and is well-organized. Is a comfortable read, as Cagle says things in comforting ways.

About the Author

C. J. (CHRIS) CAGLE is a retired IT professional, having worked as a manager and architect/strategist for several large financial institutions for almost thirty years.

He holds a Master of Business Administration from the Florida Institute of Technology. 

Chris serves as a deacon and leads the stewardship ministry at Crossway Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.

When he’s not writing about stewardship or retirement or working in his church, he enjoys hiking and fishing. 

Chris and his wife also enjoy hanging out with their two grown children and six grandchildren.

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Posted in Book Reviews

"The Complicated Heart" by Sarah Mae

Content

The Complicated Heart, by Sarah Mae, is a raw, well-written autobiography, describing her journey to forgiving her alcoholic mother.

DISCLAIMER!

In the prologue, the author does warn about the graphic content in the book and is not for children.

She recommends to self-examine yourself and your emotional health, to handle the triggers and weight of her testimony.

Well-Written Content

However, Mae’s book is well written, combining personal anecdote with her mother’s own writings, as well as Scripture and personal reflection.

Including her mother’s letters gives realism and personality to her mom, creating greater understanding of the relationship dynamic.

Review

I liked how the author integrated her personal journey to salvation in Christ Jesus and God’s work in her life, along the way. Mae has a poetic way of description and is melodious to read. I recommend this raw, yet easy, intriguing read.

About the Author

Sarah Mae is in the ministry of spilling your guts. Through the “spilling” of her own honest and vulnerable stories, she’s learned that no story is too unsafe, no past is too awful, no heartache is too great that God’s grace can’t cover, recover, and heal.

She has a real tender spot for the brokenhearted, especially those with mother wounds, and her writing and speaking is always in service to those who need to know that dysfunction is not their legacy or identity, and healing, redemption, and joy is always on the table.

Sarah is the coauthor of the bestselling book, Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe, the founder of several events including the first national Christian women’s blogging conference, Allume (which was retired in 2015) and A Night to Breathe, an event for exhausted but vision-focused moms of little ones.

She has been featured on Focus on the Family radio, The Life Today Show with James Robison, and in Life Beautiful Magazine as one of 50 most inspiring Christian women of 2016.

Sarah makes her home in Lancaster county Pennsylvania with her woodworker husband and three spunky kiddos. Learn more and be encouraged in the tough stuff of life at sarahmae.com.

Posted in Book Reviews

"Epic Devotions" by Aaron Armstrong

Epic Devotions by Aaron Armstrong, is a great kids devotional, in connection with The Gospel Project for Kids curriculum.

Content

Each devotion includes a Bible passage to read, encouraging kids to read the Bible. Also included, are a quoted verse, the event description to establish context, foreshadowing to Christ’s coming and the Gospel, and a life application section.

Life Application

I like that there’re several options for application: an explanation of relevance to the passage and reader, a step of action, a question to challenge the reader to share the gospel, and a memory verse.

The memory verse is most often from a different part of the Bible, encouraging cross-referencing and knowing God’s Word in its fullness.

“The Gospel Project”

This kids’ devotional has great illustrations, in connection with “The Gospel Project for Kids.” This way, kids can grow into the devotional, if they are already familiar with the curriculum and illustrations.

Review

Each devotion is lively and biblically authentic, and includes more scriptural accounts than most devotionals for kids.

This book is the real deal!

About the Author

Aaron Armstrong is an author, blogger, and Brand Manager for The Gospel Project, based outside of Nashville, Tennessee.

He has written several books, including Epic: The Story that Changed the World as well as the screenplays for the documentaries Through The Eyes of Spurgeon, and LUTHER: The Life and Legacy of the German Reformer.

He writes daily at BloggingTheologically.com, and his writing has appeared on numerous websites including The Gospel Coalition, For the Church, Crosswalk.com, and ChurchLeaders.com.

Posted in Book Reviews

On-the-Go Devotional: 200 Devotions for Teens by Leslie Hudson

Book Review

On-the-Go Devotional: 200 Devotions for Teens, by Leslie Hudson, is a great book to get teens into God’s Word.

Content

No matter busy they are, these short, and to the point devotionals are organized in an appealing and user-friendly way.

Each day is focused on a topic, and includes a verse of Scripture, explaining the passage and how to apply to everyday life. It also gives teens actions steps for that day.

Topics include, for example: humility, worry, joy, freedom, faith, hope, friends, family, salvation, etc.

Recommendation

It only takes one to two minutes to read, but is quality content, highly valuable for teens today.

I highly recommend this devotional for any teen!

Posted in Book Reviews

The Long Walk Home by Matt Carter

Book Review

The Long Walk Home: Discovering the Fullness of Life in the love of the Father, by Matt Carter, was a refreshing new perspective of the biblical account, the prodigal son.

Content

This analysis includes a good balance of biblical exegesis, anecdote, historical and cultural examples and weaves them together smoothly.

In addition to Carter’s touching personal testimony, woven with strong biblical teaching and application, the author mentions other well-known pastors and speakers, such as Dr. John Piper and Louie Giglio.

Recommendation

I would highly recommend this book for anyone who is struggling with their past, but desire a renewed future in Christ.

About the Author

author, Matt Carter

Matt Carter serves as the Pastor of Preaching and Vision at the Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, Texas, which has grown from a core team of fifteen to more than eight-thousand attending each Sunday since he planted it in 2002.

Matt has co-authored multiple books including a commentary on the Gospel of John in The Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series and two group studies, Creation Unraveled and Creation Restored, which traced the gospel message through the book of Genesis.

He holds an M.Div. from Southwestern Seminary and a Doctorate in Expositional Preaching from Southeastern Seminary. He and his wife Jennifer have been married for more than twenty years, and they have three children, John Daniel, Annie, and Samuel.

Posted in Book Reviews

The Society of Extraordinary Raccoon Society on Boasting by Randall Goodgame

Book Review

The Society of Extraordinary Raccoon Society on Boasting, by Randall Goodgame, comes from one of my new favorite Christian, children’s books series!

The title may seem quite strange, but the more I read these books, the more I fall in love with the characters and the messages.

Content

The illustrations are colorful, eye-catching, and detailed. The story is rhyme-based, making the words have a song-like rhythm.

I like how the author walks the reader through the process. For example, he walks the two raccoons through their struggle with boasting, to what they learn and how they apply it.

Recommendation

I would recommend this book to any family wanting to teach their kids key lessons like this one. I say Randall Goodgame is the new Christian Dr. Seuss.

About the Author

Randall Goodgame

Randall Goodgame is a singer/songwriter and the creative force behind the family music brand Slugs & Bugs. He has recorded eight solo albums and contributed to numerous others. He has written songs for VeggieTales, Caedmon’s Call, Andrew Peterson, Jason Gray, Jill Phillips, and Eric Peters. Randall and his family call Nashville home, but he also began touring in 2010 to bring Slugs & Bugs to families nationwide.

Posted in Book Reviews

Which Shape Should I Be? by Pamela Kennedy

Book Review

Which Shape Should I Be? by Pamela Kennedy, is a great kids book!

Content

Not only does it teach your child shapes, but also reinforces the idea that we are the shape, and the way God made us to be. The book includes colorful and fun illustrations.

Recommendation

I wish it would have focused more on the being wonderfully made by God, a bit more, but overall is wonderful book for kids. I know my kids love it!

More Books by the Author

Posted in Book Reviews

New Every Morning by Phil Barfoot

Book Review

New Every Morning, by Phil Barfoot, is a 365 day devotional, specifically focused on the aspect of worship.

Content

Each devotion is written by a different worship pastor, from across the country.

While the devotionals are insightful and very interesting to read, the font was so small, it hurt my eyes, and I had to stop reading it.

Recommendation

My recommendation to the publisher is to increase the font size, so people can enjoy this well written devotional.

About the Author

Phil Barfoot

Dr. Phil Barfoot is an internationally known composer, author, and music ministry professional. He has written and created more than 40 major choral collections and musicals, including High Praises, which won a Dove Award for choral collection of the year.

He is also the author of The Ultimate Idea Book for Music Ministry, used by more than 7,000 churches and universities in the U. S. and Canada. 

Phil has created and composed some of the best-selling choral music in Christian music. 

He is currently the CEO and President of Celebration Concert Tours International, a Franklin, TN based choir company. He is also the CEO and President of CCT Music, a Christian Music Publishing Company. He and his wife, Sheri, have three grown children, Amy, Aaron and Adam. They reside in Franklin, TN.

Posted in Book Reviews

The Insanity of Sacrifice by Nik Ripken

Book Review

The Insanity of Sacrifice, by Nik Ripken, was both challenging and inspiring.

This 90-day devotional is uniquely written by experienced missionaries with persecution and sacrificial experience.

Content

I like how the author shares their journey to learn lessons of sacrifice and challenging the reader to consider the same principles.

The devotions are just the right length, begin with a scripture, and end with a prayer.

Recommendation

I would recommend this book to anyone desiring to grow in their walk with Christ seriously and earnestly.

About the Author

Nik Ripken is the world’s leading expert on the persecuted church in Muslim contexts. He is a missions veteran of 30 years, having served primarily in North Africa and the Middle East.

He is the author of The Insanity of God and the new book The Insanity of Obedience. He and his wife have done extensive research on the persecuted church, and on Muslim background believers, in approximately 72 countries.

Posted in Book Reviews

The Promises of God Bible Storybook

Review

The Promises of God Bible Storybook revolutionizes the concept of a children’s Bible.

Content

Not only does author, Jennifer Lyell, tell well-known biblical content and stories, but she also includes very important parts of Scripture not often included in children’s material.

Additionally, this Bible Storybook differs from others on the market.

It specifically focuses on the promises God makes throughout the entirety of Scripture, connecting the dots across biblical history.

I highly admire and value these sentiments.

Illustrations

Not only is this storybook filled with quality, biblical content, but incredible illustrations as well. The detail and the rare scenes of the Bible illustrated are quite remarkable and in a realistic style.

Recommendation

As an author, blogger, and parent myself, I highly recommend this book for families. Parents desiring to teach your children the promises of God, and teaching then the continuity of Scripture throughout.

This is one of the only children’s Bibles to include books of the Bible, such as Job, Isaiah, Galatians, and Revelation (to name a few).

About the Author

Jennifer Lyell has taught hundreds of children the Bible over the course of many years and finds her joy in those end-of- the-year Sunday School classes when the children teach it back to her.

Granted, teaching kiddos might be her passion, but it’s not her day job. For that she serves as Director of Book Publishing and Merchandising at LifeWay Christian Resources.

The hundreds of titles that the books business team has acquired, developed, or managed under Jennifer’s leadership include more than a dozen New York Times bestsellers, as well as multiple Christianity Today Book of the Year winners. Jennifer is an often off-the-path hiker who is happiest when adventuring (just like a child!).