Sunday, November 15, 2015

ESV Men's Devotional Bible - Review

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.* * Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification."    
   It is my privilege to review the English Standard Version Men's Devotional Bible.  This is a very nice Bible that has 365 devotionals scattered throughout.  In the back, there are quite a few articles that are written on various topics.  All of the devotionals and articles deal with everyday issues that men face.
   I personally love the ESV.  It is among my top three Bible translations to read and study.  It is basically KJV in modern day English.  This Bible is very well presented.  It's printed in a very easy to read font.  The chapters are very clearly marked.  I personally think that it would be a great Bible to use a highlighter to highlight verses that stand out to you.  The devotionals are dispersed throughout, and they are placed in such a way as to not distract from the scriptures.
   The biggest complaint I would have isn't major, it's just more of a preference than anything.  The words of Jesus are not highlighted.  I'm don't necessarily care if they are red, blue or green, I just prefer a Bible with the words of Jesus highlighted.
   Overall, I think it is a great Bible for men to have.  It's good to read a devotional every once in a while that is written specifically for men, and for that to be right along side the scripture is really nice.  One other thing I should emphasize is that each devotional is based on a specific passage of scripture, so the devotional is placed right beside of that passage.  It's a great feature that makes this Bible stand out.  I would give this a 5 out of 5 star rating.  This is a Bible that I will enjoy for a long time.

God Bless,

Marcus

Sunday, October 11, 2015

On Preaching by H.B. Charles, Jr. - Book Review

   What is preaching?  I knew this was going to be a good book when I read the first three words of Chapter 1.  This book is the perfect reading for anyone who would ever consider standing behind a pulpit to Preach the Word.  Whether you're an experienced preacher or a student, this book is for you.  I've never read a book on preaching that I would recommend more highly than I do this one.
   H.B. Charles takes us preachers back to the basics.  He said, "Preaching is and has always been the distinguishing mark of the true church of Jesus Christ.  Faithful preaching is the essential mark of the true church."  He continues on to say, "Our preaching is not the reason the Word works.  The Word is the reason our preaching works."
   He deals with issues that every preacher faces, from frustration to planning to feeling unprepared to feelings of pride that say, "I nailed that one today."  Mostly, the author brings us back to the basics.  One example he used was of Charles Spurgeon.  When told that all his sermons sounded alike, he said, "And so they should. First I take a text, and then I make a beeline for the cross."
   There are thirty chapters in this book that deal with everything from Training, Study time, Praying, Scripture research, Outlines, Intros, Illustrations, Conclusions, to Preaching with Manuscripts and Preaching without Notes.  He also delves into the Styles of Preaching, Plagiarism, Protecting your Voice, Being a Guest Preacher and more.
   Overall, this book is a must have for any preacher.  It is an amazing treasure of knowledge on what we know as the  "foolishness" of preaching.  As H.B. put it, "Nothing good could come out of my standing behind the pulpit without God's help...Without the work of the Holy Spirit to convince and convict, the sinful ear will dismiss the sermon as mere human opinion, rather than the Word of God."   We preachers need all the help we can get.  This book offers so much wonderful advice.  One thing that stood out to me was the emphasis on the power and purity of God's Word.  In Chapter 8, on Using Scripture in Preaching, the author said, "I do not believe we have to make the Word of God 'relevant.'  It already is.  Our preaching should make the relevance of Scripture clear.  We should preach with the conviction that the Bible is given to us for our transformation, not just information."
   I give this book a 5 out of 5.  As a preacher, I absolutely loved it.  It is an amazing resource that every preacher should have.  Most importantly, it puts the emphasis back on preaching the Bible.   I thank Moody Publishing for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

God Bless,

Marcus

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Reckless Love of God - Book Review

   It's time for another book review.  It's been a while since I have reviewed a book, so I was kind of excited to read this one.  The outside looks great.  Great title.  Great cover.  The inside is full of great content.  Alex Early gave a lot of great thoughts in this book.  But it was just a little tough to read straight through. 
   I think my biggest complaint for this book would be the length of the chapters.  When I first picked it up, I thought from looking at the outside that it would be short chapters, easy to read.  But...the chapters are really long.  7 chapters spread out over 180 pages.  It's not just something you pick up and read  a little bit and put down.  It's a book that you must pick up to do some serious reading. 
   That's it with the cons.  Everything else was good.  The book was full of great thoughts about The Reckless Love of God.  And when you actually think about what that means, it is one of the most encouraging thoughts that a Christian can think.  God loves me!  That's amazing.  Alex Early does a great job of presenting God's love for us in a good way. 
  Here are a few quotes to give you an idea of what you'll find in this encouraging book:
  "Today, many are being way too soft on sin in the name of grace.  The most dishonoring thing we can do to God is call good what God calls evil.  The most graceless thing we can do to others is to leave them in their sin while we possess the keys of abundant life known as truth and repentance."
  God "lovingly invades our space so that we not only hear His words but feel His presence."  Mr. Early also points out that the Sermon on the Mount is a wonderful picture of God's love.  The way Jesus "frames the exhortations, rebukes, corrections, and admonitions is not merely rhetoric.  Nor is Jesus simply making the Old Testament law harder by adding a few more rules.  Instead, in love, He is teaching God's image bearers how to live...The lens God uses when He looks at you and me is love."
   This book is deep, thoughtful, and encouraging.  I would encourage you to pick it up and read it.  Overall, I give it a 3 out of 5 stars.  Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for the opportunity to review this encouraging book. 


God Bless,


Marcus

Thursday, May 7, 2015

More Than Just The Talk - Jonathan McKee

  Every parent dreaded moment.  The question!  Where do babies come from?  What do you say?  Do you just blurt out SEX?  The questions start out very innocently, but quickly become huge issues in the life of our kids.  Issues about sex  become battles that kids must face.  Jonathan McKee has written a wonderful book to help parents work through this minefield with their kids.  In a world that is full of sexually explicit advertising, music, movies, video games, books and clothing, kids are now exposed to sex at a much younger age.  This book is titled More Than Just The Talk: Becoming you kid's go-to person about SEX
   Through the course of this wonderful book, Jonathan McKee addresses the big stuff.  Things like Why do I have to wait?  Why would God make something as good as sex and then just ban it from us? Is it okay to masturbate if I think about my future spouse when I'm doing it? How far can I actually go with my boyfriend/girlfriend?  Is living together okay?  What about same-sex relationships?
   There are so many questions.  So many temptations.  So many traps that are waiting for our kids.  Traps that can ruin their life.  Traps that can leave them scarred forever.  There are also a lot of people in this world who are more than willing to educate them in ways that are immoral and self-destructive.  They need a friend to help them through these battles.  They need a friend to love them.  A friend to guide them.  A friend to support.  God gave them that friend when He allowed you to be their parent.  Will you take the challenge?  Will you step up to the plate for your kids?  Pick up this book, it will help you as you help the most precious treasure in the world - your kids!
   I received this book from Bethany House publishing in exchange for my honest review.  I highly recommend it to any parent.  Help your kids fight their battles.  Be their best friend. 

God Bless,

Marcus

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

gMovies.com

Hey, I just want you to check out http://www.watchgmovies.com/. It is a Christian movie streaming service that looks really awesome. Unfortunately, due to my location, I was not able to review it, but it looks like a great service for Christian families.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Hitler's Cross - Erwin Lutzer

   Do you love America?  Do you love and respect the values that this country was founded upon?  If so, then you must read this wonderful, yet heart wrenching book by Erwin Lutzer.   This is absolutely one of the most powerful books I have ever read.  It's more than just the story of Hitler's rise to power in Germany.  It's the story of the Christian church in Germany that did not stand up for their values.  It's the story of pastors, who through manipulation, deceit, fear, and compromise, traded the cross of Jesus for the cross of Hitler.  It's also the story of America in the future should we, as Christians, choose to silently allow our country to trade the cross of Jesus for the promise of properity.
   I really could spend all day writing my thoughts about this amazing book.  It is filled with stories of Churches who gave in to Hitler's promise of prosperity.  People and pastors who took up the worship of Hitler because of the promise of unity.  It's filled with the stories of countless Christian who simply did nothing while millions of innocent people were tortured and killed in the name of hope.
   One example that has haunted me is of an old German Christian who told Erwin Lutzer the story of their church.  Their church was located by a railroad track.  These were the same tracks that trains carrying boxcars full of innocent men, women, and children off to die in concentration camps would travel.  The schedules didn't change.  Every Sunday morning, in the middle of their church services, a train loaded with Jewish prisoners would travel past the church.  The screams of mothers, fathers, and children could be heard coming from the boxcars as they passed by.  Did the church do something?  Yes.  They began to sing A Mighty Fortress is Our God to the top of their voice in order to drown out the cries of the innocent.  This older German man said he still lives with those cries.  They haunt him.
   Could it happen to us?  Could these things happen in America?  Some of them already have.  Prayer is no longer allowed in school.  Christmas carols are no longer allowed to be sung.  Manger scenes are no longer allowed to be displayed on public property.  Millions of innocent babies are murdered every year before they even have a chance to see the light of day.
   America needs to read this book.  It's a wake up call.  How far will we allow our country to go before we actually take a stand?  I want to thank Moody Publishing for the opportunity to review this awesome book.  I highly encourage everyone who loves this great country to go out and purchase this book.  Read it.  Let it challenge you.

God Bless,

Marcus

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Texas K-9 Unit Series Books 1-3


"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.* * Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification."    
Do you like a good mystery?   A handsome hero?  A maiden in distress?  A little romance?  This series of books has all of that.  The authors of the Texas K-9 Unit Series provide a great balance of action, adventure, mystery, and romance.  This series makes for fun, relaxing reading. 
    Unfortunately, the literary world seems to be going crazy over so called "romance."  But their idea is really an unrealistic, immoral shell of what love really is.  This series is clean and refreshing.  No bad language or sex scenes, just a good, wholesome love story written the way it should be written.     The characters of these stories are well developed.  They aren't perfect.  As you get to know them, they start to feel like real people living in a real world who get caught up in the ups and downs of life. 
    The stories revolve around a police K-9 unit.  When someone goes missing, these officers and their K-9 partners go on the hunt.  Great stories.  Great writing.  These are books that entertain as well as inspire.  Check them out in your favorite ebook store.











God Bless,
Marcus
 

Friday, February 6, 2015

The 5 Love Languages for Men by Gary Chapman

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.* * Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification."
    Spanish?  Not interested.  German?  Too hard.  French?  Sounds romantic.  Quality Time & Words of Affirmation?  YESSSS!  Because those are the LOVE languages of my wife, and a happy wife makes for a very happy life. 
   I've known about the 5 love languages for years now, but I was really happy to find that Gary Chapman had written a book on this topic just for men.  I read the book, and I was not disappointed.  It was awesome!  I highly recommend this book to every single guy who is marriage or has any hopes of ever getting married.  This book nails it. 
   The basics are simple.  Everyone has a love language.  One thing that fills their love tank more than anything else.  One thing that makes them feel loved and accepted.  When you find that language of love for your spouse, it make
s life a whole lot better. If your wife's love language is Gift Giving, then something as small as bringing her home a chocolate bar or flower can make her feel overwhelmingly loved.  If your wife's love language is Acts of Service, then washing the dishes or sweeping the floor for her will let her know that you love her more than giving her a dozen roses.
   Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, and Quality Time are the other three.  When you read through the pages of this short and simple book, it will open your eyes to what you've been doing wrong and what just might work in your marriage.  I won't go into detail on all of the details, you'll have to read it for yourself.  But I will guarantee that it will be worth the time and effort you put into it. 
   This book is actually really short and simple to read.  It's not boring.  It's not a lecture.  It's practical and in a language men can understand.  The back of the book even has a test for both men and women to determine what their love language is.  So pick this book up.  Read it.  And then enjoy learning to speak the language that your spouse will understand.  It's awesome!  Definitely one of the best books I've ever read. 

God Bless,

Marcus

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Team US by Ashleigh Slater

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.* * Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification."
    Team us!  That's what marriage is all about.  I think the problems with this world is that too many marriages are built around selfish mindsets.  Men and women who live in the same house, but live separate lives.  That's why the divorce rate is so high.  Marriage is a team effort.  From the very beginning, God's design was for a husband and wife to be one.  Two people living one life, not two people living two lives occupying the same house.  That's the issue this book addresses. 
   I'm a husband, father, and pastor, so this book was very much of interest for me on many different levels.  It's a good book full of great ideas.  My biggest criticism would simply be that it seems more suited for women than men.  I like the way it's written, meaning that it's like a conversation rather than a lector.  But it's more like a conversation that the ladies of the house would have.  We guys tend to be a little more rough and in need of excitement.  None of that here.
   That being said, it's a great book.  Guys would do well to read it.  It's not as exciting as a book on the Song of Solomon, but it's good.  Ladies will love it, but it will take a little more effort for the guys.  All that being said, Team us is really about teamwork in marriage.  Ashleigh Slater does a good job of telling about the frustrations and issues that she and her husband have faced in their marriage and how they dealt with those issues.  There's nothing groundbreaking here, just helpful.  So read it, learn from it, and enjoy being a part of the most awesome team on earth - Team us! 

God Bless,

Marcus
  

The Patmos Deception by Davis Bunn

  
    I have always been a Davis Bunn fan, so this review is a little difficult for me.  Unfortunately, I just didn't find this book interesting.  I love a good story.  I love to sit down and enjoy a good adventure.  After reading many Davis Bunn books in the past, I was very excited for the chance to review The Patmos Deception.  The end result was a book that I struggled through and a book that I actually didn't finish reading.
   The basis for the story is great.  An adventure through modern day Greece searching for long lost treasures.  The story itself was actually well written and interesting.  The problem I had with the book, and the reason I didn't finish the book was because I got absolutely bored and bogged down by the details. 
   I am a fan of old westerns, but of the older western authors that I just don't read is Max Brand.  His stories are good.  They are curse free and sex free, which is the only kind I read.  But I just don't read them because they tend to take so long to get through the story.  You kind of get lost in the details.  Unfortunately, The Patmos Deception falls into that category. 
    It's not a reflection on Davis Bunn.  He is still one of my favorites.  The plot of the book was good.  The characters were intriguing, but I just didn't find this book all that interesting.  Someone who loves lots of details and classroom like reading mixed with a little bit of excitement would love this book.  As for me, I simply just got lost in the details.   I did receive this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. 

God Bless,

Marcus

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Life Under God - 365 Daily Devotional by Tony Evans

   If you've read my reviews before, then you know that I'm a huge Tony Evans fan.  Do I agree with everything he says?  No.  Are there some theological differences in his books and preaching that I don't care for?  Yes.  But as one of my collage professors once said, "Chew on the meat and spit out the bones."  Usually, when you pick up a Tony Evans book or listen to one of his sermons, there is a lot of meat to chew on.  This 365 Daily Devotional is no different.  It's good.
    The theme is based on his series The Kingdom Agenda.  It covers topics ranging from Satan, race, marriage, parenting, and the list goes on.  The daily devotionals begin with a scripture that goes along with the daily topic.  The devotional itself is not long, usually four to five paragraphs.  This followed by a series of questions to ask yourself.  Things that will challenge your thinking and help you apply the devotional to your own life.  Each devotional ends with a prayer.
   Overall, I highly recommend this to anyone.  It's a quick read.  Easy to understand.  Yet it's full of challenging thoughts to help you as you grow in Christ.  The cover itself is leather and looks great on any shelf or table.  I would like to thank Moody Publishing for the opportunity to review this devotional.  I did receive it free of charge in exchange for my honest review. 

God Bless,

Marcus