Tag Archives: Faith

Book Review: Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart

Book Review:  Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart by J.D. Greear

The Good:

Clear as Whatever the Opposite of Mud.  I don’t think I have read a description of salvation that was so clear and simple.  Anyone that is confused or even over-confident about salvation, this is a book you could put in their hand with confidence.

Hi, My Name is Jeff, Here’s a Book.  Someone asked me about the book as I started reading it, and I told them after just two chapters I wanted to give the book to everyone I knew.  The content is that good and vital to a proper understanding of the Gospel.

Weren’t You Just Here?  I often would circle back to the very sentence I just read to make sure I got it right.  I don’t often do this in books, but with this one it was different.  The material was so significant, I wanted to make sure I truly comprehended what I was reading.

The Bad:

That’s Some Bold Sauce.  The author was not shy.  There were some bold declarations of theological terms, where he would define them.  Now I didn’t see any errors, but that would be a dangerous path for me to walk down.

The Grade:  A.  With a topic of salvation so central to the Christian faith, this book should be on your shelf to read and refer to on a regular basis.  Don’t let the title of the book put you off.  In fact it seems the author isn’t that big of a fan of the title either.  It’s a small book that packs a punch and will organize what you know, and allow you to be articulate in your witness and knowledge of the Gospel.

 

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Book Review: The Stick Faith Guide For Your Family

Book Review: The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family by Dr. Kara Powell5258580_orig

The Good:

Real. This book could not get any more real. We are talking about real advice from real families. This book is essentially a collection of advice from parents for the sole purpose of building a faith that sticks in their kids. This is not advice from a panel of psychologists or “parent experts”…no these are real parents that are in the trenches just like you grasping at ideas that will really work and help their child develop their faith.

Practical (Extremely). This may be the most practical parenting book I have ever picked up. From the very start, I was underlining ideas that I could implement right away. In fact, the author even warns the reader to take it slow and just take 5 ideas at a time. Otherwise, it could be overwhelming since there are so many good ideas. And since there are so many ideas, it is easy for any family to find something that fits their family situation (i.e. single parent homes, teenager-filled home, young children, etc.)

Ministry Treasures. From chapter 7 which talks about the elder generation’s impact on kids, to the chapter on mentoring…these can be very valuable in building a ministry that is inter-generational. Pastors, youth workers, children’s ministry volunteers…these are pages that need to be read and ideas that can be implemented tomorrow.

Gone too soon. Although I am a parent of young kids, everyone tells me the time goes so quickly. These pages are full of ideas to value the time and use it to have a real impact for your child’s relationship with God and others.

The Bad:

Occasional Bad Advice. Here are a few examples: #1: Allow your child to seek another church/skip youth group – sure this is a little out of context, but did not like reading it, nonetheless. #2: Apologize – Not found in the Bible. Encourage forgiveness over apologizing.

Wide Denomination Range. This is more of a warning for the reader. This is to a wide (Christian-based) denomination audience, so as long as you know that going in, it will prevent confusion.

Could use a little more grace. Many parents are suffering having a prodigal son or daughter. I think this book is missing a chapter on ministering to those that fade away or are rebelling. And also a reinforcement of the idea of there is no perfect plan, but it is of God’s grace. This is in there, but could use more of these types of encouragement and reminders throughout.

The Grade: B.

In the fall, I will be recommending this book to my parents as a valuable resource, and I recommend it to you as well. Powell provides incredible ideas for parents to have a deep impact on their children’s faith. I can almost guarantee any parent can find at least 5 ideas from this book that they can start doing immediately. And everyone is different, so this book provides an incredible variety of families and ideas for everyone to try. The realness, the variety, and the potential impact on children make this book a highly recommended parenting source.

 

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2 Great Articles for Parents & Grandparents

As a young parent, I eat this stuff up.  Anything to help me build faith into my kids, I’m willing to listen.  Encourage you to enjoy these reads…

Helping Kids Keep the Faith

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20 Ideas for Grandparentsgrandma_teen_750_367_s_c1

 

 

 

 

 

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Book Review: O Me of Little Faith

The Book:  “O Me of Little Faith” by Jason Boyett

O Me of Little FaithThe Good:  Perfect introduction to the subject at hand.  Doubt and weak faith is a difficult subject, but the author drew me into it like a pro in the first couple chapters.  You have to read the story about the bench-press.  It had me rolling.  But the “best good” of this book is the honesty.  Without honesty, this book would fall apart.  The author was willing to be transparent in a subject that is not often talked about, doubt.  According to Sticky Faith curriculum, research shows that in high school, 70% of students doubt their faith, but fewer than half actually talk about those doubts with a pastor, other adult, or other students in their youth ministry.  There is a disconnect of those that have doubts, insecurity, or loss of faith and the discussion that happen as a result of those things.  This book helps bring those issues to the surface.  Other things worth the price of admission:  Chapter 8 baptism story is absolutely precious (don’t use the word precious often, but it applies and is a must read.  Also, a must read, ALL of chapter 9.

The Bad:  The author has a weak view on prayer and it shows throughout.  While I appreciate the honesty, I’m not on the same page.  Also, liturgy in chapter 5 was a little over emphasized for my liking.  This is a dangerous book for those new in their faith.  I would recommend this book for those that are weak in their faith after a substantial time in the faith.  I would hate for this book to be given to a new believer only to have their faith crushed before it could bloom.  Finally, the sarcasm can get to be too much where the book is almost trying to convince the reader to have doubt in a certain area.

The Grade:  B-

I absolutely loved the author’s style, approach, and honesty.  However, it offers little closure to the reader and often chooses sarcasm over solution.  There are portions of this book that are a must read (like chapter 9), but there are reasons for a B grade.

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