Thursday, May 9, 2019

Disciple Her

Discipleship, a fastly growing topic in contemporary Christian circles.

Kandi Gallaty addresses a very much needed and widely gaining notice topic. 

Discipleship is the act of teaching through life lessons another to be a disciple. But in order to make disciples, you first have to be a disciple. Jesus was able to tell the 12 to go forth and make disciples because they had first been disciples of His. And so Kandi Gallaty, who has discipleship groups at their (her & her husband, whose book will be one of the next books I review) church. 

Note that this book's table of contents is awesome. There is a breakdown of the topic of each chapter, which makes sharing the topic of the book that much easier.

So what makes this book great on discipleship is the fact that (as you can see below) Kandi Gallaty goes beyond talking about the need for discipleship but she goes into HOW to actually accomplish discipleship. She goes starts with the prep work that goes into starting a D-group (discipleship group). From prayer & planning to actually starting the group. She explores the elements of development, so you get an idea of what maturity looks like in your group. Then she does something else amazing: she breaks down the difference between a D-group and all of the other small groups that are in a church because yes there is a difference. 

This book has been an eye-opener and a welcomed resource for the next stage of life that God is preparing us for. I highly recommend, especially for those who are in ministry as I think it will definitely assist in your ministry work.

If you check out the excerpt below you will see the breakdown of each chapter. 

 {And as always I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my HONEST opinion.}

Restoration House

This book yall! It is so refreshing and beautiful and hardback (my fave). 

This book is the story of a woman (Kennesha Buycks) who realizes that God met her while she was restoring furniture. And He used this newfound hobby of hers to pour into her and transform her from someone who was more superficial and discontent to someone who could see the beauty below the surface and who is now content with her portion in life. 

There is so much in this book that it goes beyond coffee table book to a handy resource. I'll share some excerpts (photos) of the practical tips and guides that the author shares with us; the deep and meaningful prayers she shares at the end of each chapter; the hospitality hacks spread throughout. There is even a guide on creating your own cheese board for entertaining (I included a photo of the shopping list). 

Cheeseboard shopping list.
 I greatly appreciated the reflection and prayer sections at the end of each chapter because it brings God into our homes and into our designs & gives Him glory through it all. 

Prayer and Reflection...this one from chapter 6.

 Hospitality tips

Seasons Greetings, ways to spruce up our homes during every season.

Recipe for a natural bug repellent. Like seriously, don't we ALL need this once the weather gets warm?

This book gets 5 stars from me and is DEFINITELY worth adding to your library! You can head over to Amazon to get your copy here.

{FYI: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my HONEST review. In other words, I genuinely LOVE this book and my payment is the book itself.}

Friday, May 3, 2019

A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the New Testament

This one of the most massive undertakings on reviewing a book that I've done. The closest I've come was the Inductive Bible Study textbook I reviewed two years ago.

First the surface, this book is over 600 pages and has a large contributory team to give us a comprehensive overview and introduction to the New Testament of the Bible. There are also additional articles on the New Testament in the appendixes to the book (authored by the contributors of course). And thankfully there is an abbreviation guide at the beginning of the book to help forgetful folk like myself. 

Another thing to note is that this overview of the New Testament is written from a reformed theology approach, as all of the contributors are either current or past professors at Reformed Theological Seminary. Beliefs of Reformed: 
  • Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone): the Bible alone is the highest authority. 
  •  Sola Fide (faith alone): faith is the sole instrument of our justification. 
  • Sola Gratia (grace alone): we are saved by the grace of God alone, not by works. 
  • Solus Christus (Christ alone): Christ is the only Mediator between God and man. 
  • Soli Deo Gloria (to the glory of God alone): all of life is lived for the glory of God alone.

Biblical theology is considered biblical because it focuses on "its principle of organizing the Biblical material is historical rather than logical", as stated in the introduction.

Each chapter is focused on a specific book of the Bible, with the chapters flowing in the same order of the Bible from Matthew to Revelation. So in each chapter, we get an introduction and extensive background & context information on the book:
  • author
  • audience
  • the date it was written
  • the purpose of the book,
  • a structured outline of the book
  • an overview of the book (a quick breakdown of the book almost like a commentary)
  • The authors also cover the message and theology presented in each book of the New Testament
  • Each author also presents their bibliography which presents the reader with the chance for further study.

So my personal take on this book is that while it is not exhaustive, it is quite comprehensive and provides a solid foundation to build upon during study. I like this book as a great study companion especially when it comes to getting the context correct. Inaccurate context and understanding can lead to inappropriate messages and application.

{FYI: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.}

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Kingdom Prayer

Prayer. An ever-important topic in Christian life and highly important discipline in the Christian life. There are so many books on what prayer is and how to do it. 
But most people treat prayer like a honey-do list or like they are making wishes. I know at one point in my life I was too. There was a time when I said what I wanted to happen. Then, I would get up and kept going with my day. I never once stopped to see what God had to say back. But prayer is so much more than that.

In this book from 2016 (yes I am late reviewing), Dr. Tony Evans seeks to exhort the reader to change our approach to prayer. Prayer is a humbling experience in approaching God. Dr. Tony Evans puts it like this, "If you want to know the temperature of your spiritual life, check the thermostat on your prayer life." This is crucial and takes me right to Revelation 3:16 when the Lord says because you are neither hot nor cold but lukewarm. The Lord speaks in terms of temperature when it comes to our walk in following Him. 

So there are 16 chapters in this book broken down into 3 sections. 
The first section is on the concept of prayer, what prayer is. If you have no clue what prayer is or why it is important then you want to start there. There is authority and access that comes with prayer. There is a relationship with God that comes with prayer. And prayer has to be persistent. It's not something you do as a one-off or as a last resort. 
In the second section, we delve into the context of prayer, which is why we are praying. Oftentimes the only way to make it through certain circumstances and situations is through consistent prayer and communing with God.
But then comes section 3, where the heavy lifting is. See we don't mind praying, but we don't want to give up anything but sometimes a response or an answered prayer only comes through fasting while you're praying. And this section gives us clarity on fasting in this context as well as understanding other conditions for prayer. For example, chapter 14 guides us in having pure intentions with our prayer. 

This book here is a MUST have. This is one of those resource books that may be read more than once and will definitely be highlighted through.

{FYI, I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.}

Easter is Coming

Board books are some of my favorite books to have in my library since we have 3 girls under 5 years of age. And they are ROUGH on books.

The colors are vibrant and inviting. So this book is of course about Easter and it visits different stories in the Bible (Adam & Eve, The Old Testament in General, then the last supper and other events in Jesus' life) and states that while people acted in ways that did not please God, they were unaware that Easter, the Resurrection, was coming. This book generally exchanges the Resurrection with Easter. 

My personal opinion: It's bright and colorful. It's vibrant and inviting. It's a board book, meaning sturdy enough to withstand the hands of a 4 yr old, 3 yr old, and 11 month old. However, on a theology level, people could easily have an issue with the world Easter being interjected for Resurrection. While we have come to easily exchange the two, they are actually two different events. However, I do understand what the author is trying to do, which is get our children to look beyond the bunny, eggs, and baskets to see Jesus & the cross.

{FYI I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my HONEST opinion.}

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Friendship Promises

We all have friends, right? And what particularly makes us a good friend? What would we tell others if they asked us this question?

So this is a new gift book by (in) courage, it is composed of devotions, prayer prompts, and journal prompts on the topic of friendship combined with beautiful Scripture art and graphics. I can easily see this book going from gift to interactive treasure as the devotions, prayers, and journaling prompts (along with the space to journal) invites us to linger and digest these lessons & promises on friendship. Then, as we marvel at the Scripture art, perhaps they are left blank without color so that we, too, may participate in making this book beautiful. 

The friendship promised this book offers are:

I promise to be Authentic, Present, Encouraging, and Rooted in Christ. The entire book is organized by these friendship promises. The reflections are drawn from Never Unfriended by Lisa Jo Baker and Craving Connection (another book by (in)courage). I mention this so that you have an idea of the authors of the book since other than this mention, there is no attributed author.

So for the exterior, we're looking at linen over the board. In person, it is the perfect shade of a coral/salmon color. And is the same size as Open Door Living (another gift book). The cover lettering & design is embossed with gold foil. There's also a ribbon marker the same shade of coral/salmon as the book, which makes me happy. 

I really like this book. I think that in this world of people being so easy to write each other off (and being proud of that fact) we need more resources on friendship. The beauty in friendship and knowing just what godly friendship looks like.

Highly recommend. I say buy in pairs. One for yourself and one for your best gal pal (or more for your best gal group of friends).

{As always, I received this book from the publisher (B&H) in exchange for my HONEST opinion.}

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Maxwell Leadership Bible

So the first thing to notice is that this is NOT a study bible. You will not find footnotes explaining the text. As a leadership bible, what you will find are mini-articles on leadership, referred to as the 21 laws of leadership & the 21 qualities of leadership as well as leadership profiles on different leaders throughout the Bible. There are book introductions that introduce each book of the Bible from the perspective of leadership, God's leadership as well as human leadership. There is also a reference table at the beginning of each book that highlights the leadership shown in that book as well as who it is shown by.  At the back of the Bible, there is a glossary to show exactly where you can find the 21 laws of leadership, the 21 qualities of leadership, and the profiles in leadership.

I think those in a place of leadership or coming into a place of leadership will greatly benefit from the extras in this Bible, I will say I wish there were cross-references included for every verse as it would help in relating the different passages on leadership a lot easier. It is a bit heavy, my husband's exact words when I handed it to him. But the font makes the weight worth it. 

{FYI: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my HONEST opinion.}

Disciple Her

Discipleship, a fastly growing topic in contemporary Christian circles. Kandi Gallaty addresses a very much needed and widely gaini...