Tag Archives: Google

Double Book Review: I’m a Church Member & Closing the Window

churchmemberBook Review:  I Am a Church Member by Thom Rainer

The Good:  First off, bravo for the impact of this book, yet it taking only 30-45 minutes to read.  Don’t let the brevity full you, like a featherweight boxer it still packs a punch.  This book contains 6 chapters and 6 ways to become a better church member, each with Biblical backing and strong conviction and practicality.  Rainer does a great job combating what he calls the “country club” philosophy of church membership and promotes a giving, serving, and putting others first membership philosophy.  The opening illustration in each chapter keep the reading fresh and applicable to real life.  If anything, you have to read the “child facing two scenarios” illustration in chapter 6.  Priceless.

The Bad:  The pledge in the back of each chapter may be a little corny.  I get the concept, but could be condensed in the final chapter holding all the truths.

The Grade:  A.  There a great misunderstanding of both the importance of being a member of a church and also the responsibilities associated with church membership.  This books helps solve that mystery.  It is a much needed kick in the pants for those that would rather their backsides not be bothered and heavily cushioned during a church service.  It puts people in motion to properly serve and function in the church body, like Christ, the head of the church, intended.

Book Review:  Closing the Window by Tim Chester

closing-the-windowThe Good:  My fingers may get tired from typing if I listed how important this book is in today’s society, especially for young people.  Here’s a stat for you…93% of teenagers have access to the internet.  Do you know the percentage of teenage boys who have been exposed to internet pornography…93%!  Girls aren’t far behind, with exposure at 62%.  I realize this is under the GOOD column.  Here is the good news, this book provides a solution to the problem.  It offers a five-tier process that breaks through the myths and straw-like answers that often fail, and presents a Biblical, life-transforming model that withstands for the long haul.

What’s great about this book is its approach.  While there are underlying reasons for the use of porn, it goes even deeper than the emotional or personality struggles.  The solution starts and ends with God.  Think about it, you really think someone can defeat porn using filters, accountability, or DVD pass codes.  Come on, those should be used, but the user will find a way around those man-made barricades if he or she so desires.  Removing porn from your life is not about what you are losing or blocking, but what you gain.  Many try to take porn away, but don’t replace it, and then find themselves returning to fill the void.  Let me use a quote from the book to explain:  “What happens if you weigh a life with porn against a life without porn?  Put like that, porn will always win, for it offers excitement, pleasure, thrills…by definition…a lesser life…weighing a life with porn against a life lived for God’s glory.  Porn versus glory, porn versus God, fleeting pleasure versus lasting pleasure, shame versus glory, destruction versus eternal life:  which looks the lesser now?”

The Bad:  The only bad…how this book is not better known (this picture above was only available on google images) & how this book is not required for every man to read.  Let me ask you a question:  Do you or anyone you know ever struggled with porn?  Virtually everyone will answer yes to that question.  Whether you need help, or you are in a position to offer help, you need to consider reading this book.

The Grade:  A+.  Please listen to me when I say this, this is not just a book for someone that is addicted to pornography.  This book will help you in your marriage, it will provide you with a proper view of women, and along the way provide Biblical and life-lasting ways to defeat lust in your life.  I’ve read in multiple articles that this book is the best book on counseling someone who is addicted to pornography.  It did not disappoint.  Read it to get out of your addiction.  Read it to help others with their addiction.  Read it to prevent addiction.  Read it to bring you closer to your spouse (or to your future spouse) and read it to become closer in your relationship with God.


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10 Teen Culture Thoughts & Statistics…How well do you know the Younger Generation?

  1. God made you special, right?  In the United States, nearly 219,000 cosmetic plastic-surgery procedures were performed on teens aged 13 to 19 in 2010, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
  2. PLZ STP TXTING In 2010, more than 3,000 people died in crashes attributed to distraction-related causes — roughly 10 percent of all fatalities on the road, according to the federal Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  3. Generation Confused?  New nationally representative survey of 1,029 people ages 18-29 suggests. Almost 60% say “adulthood will be more enjoyable than my life is now.”
  4. Time to leave the Nest – 18-29 year olds – 52% have daily or almost daily contact with parents via text, e-mail, phone or in person, and 16% do “frequently,” 16% regularly; and 31% occasionally get financial support.
  5. I have a feeling it is more than this in 2012 – In 2010, U.S. adolescents spent an average of 8.5 hours per day interacting with digital devices.
  6. I love technology.  The pace of [technology] “penetration” (i.e., the amount of time it takes for a new technology to be used by 50 million people) is unprecedented. For radio, technological penetration took 38 years; for telephone, 20 years; for television (TV), 13 years; for the World Wide Web, 4 years; for Facebook, 3.6 years; for Twitter, 3 years; for iPads, 2 years; and for Google_, 88 days.
  7. Yikes!  Eric Anderman, a professor of educational psychology at Ohio State University, has studied student cheating. He says that while it’s hard to nail down statistics on its prevalence, the best estimate is that up to 85 percent of high school students have cheated at least once.
  8. Solution:  Don’t allow under age drinking!  “Many studies have found relationships between an early AFD (Age of First Drink) and a range of negative alcohol-related outcomes later in life, including the development of alcohol use disorders, legal problems like DUI, and health problems like cirrhosis of the liver,” said Meghan Rabbitt Morean, a postdoctoral fellow in the department of psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine
  9. Not surprising – 64 percent, cited YouTube, the Web’s leading video-sharing site, as a place where they listen to music. Followed by radio (56%), iTunes (53% ) and CDs (50%).
  10. Might wanna check on your kid in the summer – On an average day in June or July, more than 4,800 youths used marijuana for the first time, whereas the daily average ranged from about 3,000 to 4,000 in other months

And for a quick culture update on your graduating seniors each year, check out this list

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You are selfish

Don’t believe me?

It’s the reason we have more than one mirror in our house, it’s the reason why ad  slogans like “have it your way” or “because you’re worth it” appeal to us, it’s the reason why we get irritated when the food takes longer than 11 minutes at a restaurant, and it’s the reason why most master bathrooms come with two sinks.

It’s because we are selfish.  Maybe it’s because I have kids now, I am married, or  I am in ministry…but the more I live my life, the more I realize how selfish I am.

Another example, just look at how many times the singular pronoun “I’ was used in that last sentence – 6 times.  Yikes!  Life tends to be all about me, and even this blog article is trending that way now.

So let me just stop talking about me for one second, because apparently that is very hard to do because of my own selfishness.  Let’s talk about the Bible.  There is a reason why God’s Word is full of verses about selfishness…it is because we are full of ourselves.  Each of us need reminded daily to rid ourselves of our own selfishness and start living a selfless life.

You may have heard it said that if all who claimed to be Christians gave of their time and resources, we would have trouble finding places to put all of it.  Churches would have to research what mission to support next, would have to Google where to donate the next batch of clothing, and would need to call around to see who needed help with their next month’s rent.  Now these are the types of problems we should be facing!  Not the problems of how can I feel more comfortable, or what will I get out of this arrangement.

Remember, Chrisitan – Chirst = IAN (I AM NOTHING).  Christ left us an example of selfless love, selfless sacrifice, and selfless living.  It’s time we follow that example.

I know I will go home and look in my 10 mirrors in my house, wash my face in my dual sink, sit down and eat my burger king…and think about it.  How about you?


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