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Book Reviews Ministry

Lessons from the East by Bob Roberts Jr. – It’s time to improve our church outreach ministry!

I’ve not done book reviews in a long time. But since I’ve been wanting our church to improve our community outreach and strengthen the bonds among our church members, the desire for change has been chasing me. I want so much. I want a tight knit church family. I want a welcoming atmosphere for members and visitors. I want our community to know who we are and have a favorable opinion of us. I want to influence those around us.

I want it all! {Mom of Many}I want it all.

Mark, my DH would say to me, “How’s it feel to want?”

I am never satisfied unless I’m moving forward, seeing results, and/or seeing victory on the horizon. I want more!

When I was approached to do a book review on Lessons from the East, I was curious after I read the synopsis. I accepted because it was along the line of what I’ve been searching out. Church polity. Ministry outreach. Church unity. The Great Commission. It’s all linked.

Yet, in many churches the links have been broken or are rusted.

Lessons from the East Book Review {Mom of Many}Bob Roberts Jr. in the book Lessons from the East shares with us his approach. Some will think it’s “out there” because it’s pretty radical – different from what we are doing (or maybe I should say, “not doing”).

He suggests that we here in the western world focus too much on the wrong things: self promotion, numbers (competition among churches), our Sunday morning presentation, separation, etc. We take these things and place such a high importance on them that they overshadow our real purpose – to glorify God to the world.

His radical way of reaching out to people needs to be investigated and much of what he says evaluated and implemented here in our home churches. He formed a world wide group of ministers who want to reach their area like those in the East – befriend all men and bridge the gap that has become so wide that we no longer have any influence.

We need to do something! Regardless of how we agree or disagree with Mr. Roberts, we know our outreach ministries are not impacting our communities like they should.

We need change and we need it now.

I don’t agree 100% with his opinions or methods, but that is the beauty of what he suggests. True believers with differing opinions are still in the same fold and should not isolate themselves or shun others who are different out of fear. Nor should we fear those of other faiths. How do we let God’s light shine through us if we hide away in our church buildings afraid of being “tainted”? If our faith is solid, which it should be, then who or what is there to fear?

Let’s befriend all men and allow God to love them through us.

I recommend this book – not because I agree with Mr. Roberts 100% but because we need to take a fresh look at how we are ministering to those around us and what our true purpose is. It’s time for change – not in doctrine but in its practical application.

Val @ Mom of ManyParenting Tips {Mom of Many}

 

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Categories
Book Reviews

Plan B by Pete Wilson

Plan B, by Pete Wilson, was a very practical book on how to weather trials with the confidence that God is with us and that He has a great work to do in our lives through it all. He discusses the disappointment and fear that come with the dissolution of our dreams and points us toward faith in God as we struggle with the “Plan B” in our lives. Wilson encourages the reader to focus on what God is doing to change us to the person He wants us to be rather than on getting from point A to point B in our own plan for our life.

Not only is this book full of practical Biblical advice, but I found the stories he told and advice he gave to be written in a very humorous way, lending credence to his words – he is personally acquainted with life’s twists and turns. This is not a typical book that you would expect from a pastor of a large church. He writes in common language that is very readable and enjoyable, so much so that I read this book in one sitting. I highly recommend this book.

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

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Book Reviews recommendations Spiritual Truths Things I've Learned

Parenting is Your Highest Calling & Eight Other Myths

Have you every had a passionate belief that you couldn’t put into words? You knew it had a Biblical foundation, but for the life of you, you couldn’t nail it down or explain it well enough without making you sound like you were making excuses or justifying yourself? This book, Parenting is Your Hightest Calling & Eight Other Myths by Leslie Leyland Fields does a great job at explaining the ins and outs of parental responsibility and dispels the myths that are so prevalant in Christian society – myths that I ran into in my parenting experience. 

 She outlines 9 myths that many parents buy into that can cause grief and disappointment when their parenting experience doesn’t the bring the results they’d expected. As a mother of 15 children, 13 of whom are special needs adopted, I saw how the blame game is easily entered into by those who have a tendency to judge others, especially Christian leaders who take credit for their own children’s successes. It is my desire to see that parents are encouraged and loved, not expected to be perfect or to take on the responsibility that was only God’s to begin with.

Here are the 9 myths Leslie outlines in her book:

1. Having Children Makes You Happy and Fulfilled.
2. Nurturing Your Children Is Natural
3. Parenting Is your Highest Calling
4. Good Parenting Leads to Happy Children
5. If You Find Parenting Difficult, You Must Not Be Following the Right Plan
6. You Represent Jesus to Your Children
7. You Will Always Feel Unconditional love for Your Children
8. Successful Parents Produce Godly Children
9. God Approves of Only One Family Design

Her basic premise is that we as parents are required by God to be faithful, to follow His basic guidelines for holy living and endeavor to teach the same precepts to our children. That’s it. We are to leave the results up to Him. He is the one who will woo their hearts, call them to repentance and a life of service to Him. We can’t do that. Only God is able to take our children and make them into something He can use.

I have seen and experienced the extreme pressure from others to measure up as the perfect Christian parent – too often reminded that “if we do our job, our kids will turn out right”  and “if they stumble and fall it is ultimately our fault.”  This advice is given without the slightest bit of acknowledgement that God is the One who shapes the believer and determines their path in life.  In her book, Leslie reminds us of parents in the Bible who lived a faithful, godly life only to experience disappointment in their parenting experience. The business of parenting is hard enough. We certainly don’t need to be bogged down by misplaced condemnation. This is a very encouraging book and I recommend it to every parent.

Thank you Leslie, for sending it to me. I wish I’d read it years ago.

You can get this book at Amazon.com for $11.19 and Christianbook.com  for $10.99.

Categories
Book Reviews

Isaac Newton by Mitch Stokes

This book, from Christian Encounters by Mitch Stokes, is a biography on Isaac Newton. It gives an inspiring look into a man’s life who considered his faith to be the starting point as he delved into the world of science and mathematics.  Though a short book, I found it to be very interesting, sparking my desire to learn more of this amazing man from the past.

 Through his God given intellect, obsession for detail, and a penchant for solitude and study, he made amazing discoveries, contributing to our world like none other. The part I was particularly encouraged by was the fact that Isaac Newton saw the scientific world as a way to explain God’s wondrous works in nature. It appears that his desire to understand the intricisies of the world was fueled by his study of theology and desire to know God.  His life demonstrated his belief that, “To be constantly engaged in studying and probing into God’s actions was true worship.” 

The surprising part of Isaac Newton’s life was his obvious humility. Though he was brilliant and ahead of his peers in his discoveries, he was surprisingly quiet about it. Only after a tremendous amount of prodding from his fellow scientists and philosophers did he agree to publish his work. It is fortunate for us that he did and yet it leads me to wonder what other discoveries, the ones he did not share with the world, he made and what a difference it may have made to the world if he had shared them. 

This would be a great book to add to your children’s reading list.  We need to introduce our children to real men of faith. Our world is so full of fake, self-absorbed people who are sending the wrong message to our kids. This book will provide them with a view of a man who sought God in every area of his personal and professional life. I recommend this book to both adults and students.

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