Category Archives: Book Review

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.

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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: 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


Book Review: Healing Is a Choice by Steve Arterburn

Healing Is a Choice 10 Decisions That Will Transform Your Life and 10 Lies That Can Prevent You From Making Them

By Steve Arterburn
Published by Thomas Nelson

First of all this edition of Arterburn’s book is a great buy as it includes not only the main text but also has a supplemental workbook.  This bonus buy alone makes it an amazing resource.

Arterburn’s basis of his book is that there are 10 decisions that we can make that will transform our lives which are based on ten different lies about who the devil makes us think we are. The book is a thick read and when you do all of the supplemental work book items that are included it will take one time to read. Having an under graduate degree in psychology and a masters from a seminary I’d highly recommend this book to anyone that is dealing with hurt and issues in their life.  It will help the reader start their journey and process to finding healing for the hurts in their lives and to make the correct decisions to get them on their way.  Half of the challenge of healing is refusing to listen to the lies that are in our heads about our-self and the situations that impact us.

Definitely a resource I’ll be keeping for myself and others to use.

 

 

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: Daddy Dates by Greg White

Daddy Dates: Four Daughters, One Clueless Dad, and His Quest to Win Their Hearts: The Road Map for Any Dad to Raise a Strong and Confident Daughter [Hardcover]

Greg Wright

Daddy Dates was a timely book as I have a young daughter and needed the encouragement to continue to build into my relationship with my daughter. The general idea behind the book is amazing, however it seemed that the book didn’t really move past the idea that fathers need to build a relationship with their children.  He helps fathers see that a man must “date” his daughters just like he dates or dated their mother.
I believe that in our present times where so many fathers focus more on their career and providing for their family financially, Wright points out that we need to be there relationally and emotionally for our daughters.
In my mind the book could have had more practical ideas and ways for implementing the technique into the readers life.  The book was a quick read which was primarily do to the fact that it was a culmination of stories about his own experiences.  The book would have gained more in my rankings if it had more factual evidence or proof from others who have applied his techniques.
Overall it was a good read.
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: The Next Christians: The Good News About the End of Christian America

The Next Christians: The Good News About the End of Christian America

By Gabe Lyons

Gabe Lyons really hits it home with The Next Christians.  The book itself was an easy read when it comes to the content and time it took to read, but it takes time to process and see how it is impacting you.  This book is not one to take lightly it is a book that challenges the reader to ask themselves, what are they doing as Christians to make an impact on those around us. This book has hit me at a time in my life where i have been asking myself whats next, how do I do this thing called my Christian Walk and living in Community with others.  After reading it I have no clearer answers but I do realize that there are others with the same struggle and battle.

Lyons talks about the fact that we are coming to a point in time that we must “reenvision” what our faith is, how it plays out, or should i say how it is lived out.  We need to find a way to help those around us to experience the Christian faith in such a way that it meets their deep spiritual needs.  Current or past Christianity does not necessarily do that.  Our church’s are making less of an impact on the people that attend and less of an impact on the communities they minister to.

Lyons discusses the 6 Characteristics that set “Next Christians” apart:  1. Being provoked and not offended. 2. Creators, not critics. 3. Called, not employed. 4. Grounded, not distracted. 5.  In Community, not alone.  6. Countercultural, not “relevant”

The points that I think resonate so personally to me are the Called and not employed and in community and not alone.  We are called to a life of ministry not just one vocationally, and we are called to not live our life out alone.  These are just two areas that I personally felt and seen God nudging me.  I know that there are others.   Take a further look into The Next Christians” to be further challenged and inspired to change.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group <http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/bloggingforbooks/> 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&gt; : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”