Book Review: Open

Open: What Happens When You Get Real, Get Honest, and Get Open 3DAccountable By Craig Gross

Published by Thomas Nelson
July 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4002-0530-1

Craig Gross is best known for the creation of XXXchurch.com and x3Wtach accountability software.  He is a Author, Speaker and Pastor.  He has a total of 9 books that he has authored.

I took the time to read and re-read this book before writing my review.  The issue of accountability is one that I’m passionate about and I can say that this book is one of the best that I have read on the subject.

Craig starts out by first and foremost addressing the reasons why someone needs accountability.  One of the issues that alot of people face is that they compartmentalize their lives and as a result live parts of their life in secretes.  Craig says “when you start doing things in secret, you can start doing them to excess, and they can spiral out of control.  That’s when you have a problem.” (XIX)   With the common trend of more and more technology that allow us to “connect” electronically with people we are as a result honestly connecting less and less.  He says “We are connected to more poeple than ever before, able to give and receive instantaneous updates on the minutiae of our lives … yet we remain curiously unsatisfied and isolated.” (xx) This pseudo connection is what needs to be addressed in accountability. As Craig puts it “in the long run, that is what accountability is really  about.  Its about living a richer, more fulfilled, more satisfying life.” (xxi).

Craig’s first section addresses the why’s of accountability including real life examples from people like you and me to government employees and issues that have been in the news. He then moves from the whys to what it requires and hits on some of the key ingredients of accountability such as Honesty, Courage, and the need for Help.

He goes into details on ideas of ways to get into accountability and what it requires.  There are so many details and ideas that I could fill many blog posts on, but for now I encourage you to get the book, read it, and personally apply it to your life if your not already in an accountability relationship.  If you are in an accountability relationship the book will provide you with ideas on how to go deeper and grow further as a result. I personally am going to apply what I’ve learned.  This book will be a great reference book in my collection.

To Get Your Own copy go to the following or another book retailer you choose and crack it open:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

If you order your book before it releases, do it by July 29, 2013 and you can get some more awesome stuff.  Got check it out  here: Click here for awesome pre-release offers. 

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing an honest review. I did not receive any other compensation.

But I did like the book so much that I went out and bought a hard copy to have on my shelf.


Get Open

Working on a book review but check out this new test…. How open are you?


Book Review: All Pro Dad

_80_140_BookAll Pro Dad: Seven Essentials to be a Hero to your Kids By Mark Merrill

Published by Thomas Nelson

 

Mark Merrill has done a great job in bring together 7  essential things a man needs to do to make a positive impact on his family.  Mark helps the reader to look first of all at understanding who they are first of all and then building onto that to help each man see how they need to interact with their kids and spouse.

I appreciate that Mark does not make it seem like the solutions and being an awesome dad are simple, but also he doesn’t make it out to be rocket science. He points out that being an “All Pro Dad” does take work and effect and investment.

As a dad I look forward to implementing the 7 essentials into my family life.


Book Review: Surfing For God

 Surfing for GodDiscovering the Divine Desire Beneath Sexual Struggle

 By Michael Cusick
Published by Thomas Nelson

Michael’s book is a fresh breathe in the men’s self help books.  I spent time in my under grad and graduate work doing research on pornography addiction and this book I feel is a valuable resource.

Cusick addresses the validity of the addiction and the struggle of it and uses his own personal experiences as a counselor and an individual who he himself has experienced the struggle.  He addresses not only the psychological but also the spiritual, physical and practical levels of the struggle.  I appreciate that Cusick spoke to the spiritual warfare side of things and addressed that the battle is not just the psychological aspects.  Many people fail to understand the whole picture of the addiction and the addict and only look at select aspects of the issues.

Cusick handles well the issues and helps the reader to see that the struggle is really tied to their search for God and true intimacy and love.  He helps the reader to understand and hear the lies that they believed about themselves that may tie them to their struggle or addiction whatever it may be.  Cusick writes in specific about sexual addiction but his principles can be used to address many addictions and struggles.

This book is a definite must read for any person who struggles with sexual addiction.  I also think any pastor or youth pastor should read this book and use it as a reference in their counseling.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> 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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Book Review: Our Favorite Sins by Todd D. Hunter

Our Favorite Sins:  The Sins We Commit and How You Can Quit

By Todd Hunter
Published by Thomas Nelson

This book is one that I believe any person trying to deal with sin and temptation should read. It provides the reader with a thoughtful reflection upon sin and what it reveals about oneself and their battle with sin.

One of the key things that Hunter points out is at issue within a person as they deal with sin and temptation is the idea and issue of disordered desires. He states “Beating temptation requires struggle because it always involved sorting out rightly ordered desires for good and godly things from our disordered desires for wrong things” (pg. 3).  This is one of the things i think many people don’t realize about their struggle with sin.  We think it is just something that we can stop, but behind each struggle of sin is a desire and we need to find ways to correctly and rightly fulfill those desires. Hunter points out that this is not an easy battle but something that does take work and energy.

So often we get beaten down in our spiritual journey because we think that it should be easier than it turns out to be. He walks through providing the reader with insight into this struggle and battle and gives hope to the reader that they will be able to deal with their temptation with God’s help and a right understanding of it.

The book provides both a theological and practical insight into this issue that affects all of mankind in one way or anther.  This book is one that I think everyone should take a look at and glean some insight and application steps that they can apply to their own lives.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> 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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Book Review: Man Alive by Patrick Morley

Man Alive

Transforming Your Seven Primal Needs into a Powerful Spiritual Life

Written by Patrick Morley

ISBN: 9781601423863

This book was one that hit the mark.  Just wish I had read it and applied it sooner.  Morley takes 7 basica or “Primal Needs” that a man has and relates how we as men can turn them into a powerful spiritual life.

I think a passage in this book that spoke to me and the lives of men that surrond me is this as found on page 92:

Men have a primal need to breek free from the destructive behaviors that keep dragging them down.  They are baffled that they can’t break free.  And it’s embarrassing.  They desperately want to experience freedom from their bondage to sin.  They do their best to manage these behaviors, but what they really wants is for the damage to stop.  But they feel weak and stuck.  Unfortunately, millions of us just don’t know where to turn.

Morley seeks to provide men with ways to take this cycle that they just are stuck in, to break free from the lies that the devil puts in their heads.  He makes men realize that they are not alone, and that they shouldn’t be doing life alone. Two passages that jump out from the test are found on pages 32 and 33 and I quote:

“…his heart was transformed when he stopped trying to go it alone and dug into God’s Word with a group of guys who accepted him ‘as is.'”

“Participation in a small group, or one-on-one, is a key difference between men who are spiritually alive and men who are mired in spiritual mediocrity.”

This book is a must read for all men, especially those are feed up with living a life that seems to not be growing.  For men who want to be walking with God and getting things moving.  He helps the reader realize that they are not alone in their feelings and struggles and that it is important to seek to do their Christian life in community. This is against the human notion that I can do it alone and don’t need others.  Those who try to do it alone are the weak ones.  Those who do it in community have realized that God created us to be in relationship with Him and with each other.

Definitely a must read that will be on my bookcase and that I will use to challenge and encourage those around me.

Check out these resources:

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review


Book Review: Dug Down Deep By Joshua Harris

Dug Down Deep: Building Your Life on Truths That Last  by Joshua Harris

Having read Harris’s other books growing up I was familiar with his style.  Over the years he has progressed and really produced a well written book about the foundations of our faith.  Having completed a Master of Art in Religion I found that Harris provided an easy to read explanation of the foundations that are essential to the Christian faith and explained the necessity for understanding them and holding to them in your life.  He used real life examples and explanations to make the book come alive to the reader and help them realize that they too can understand the “deeper” issues of Christian faith.

 

The book also has a discussion guide provided which is an added bonus as often that is an extra cost.

I found that I was constantly highlighting and agreeing with the points and explanations that were made by Harris.  This book is now an added resource to my library to help me understand how to explain to others the Christian faith in ways that I may not have thought of before.

Disclosure:

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review