Category Archives: Reviews

Spiritual Leadership: Principles of Excellence For Every Believer J. Oswald Sanders Moody Publishers; Reissue edition (July 4, 2017)

Spirtual LeadershipThis updated edition brings readability and current relevance for today’s readers.  The book contains 22 short chapters that in my opinion demands a slow read and lengthy pondering.  Personally I like short chapters as they enable you to read between the busyness of everyday life.   The content of the topics discussed provide a great resource for the development of both current leaders and future leaders.  The end of book offers a valuable study guide that is purposed for group discussion.

This book challenged me to sharpen my leadership abilities both spiritually and practically.  As I had not read the prior addition of the book it was difficult to assess the differences and improvements.   I would suggest reading the original then reading this updated volume.  Despite this I found the book to be highly relevant in today’s cultural climate.

One observation regarding the book: I found in chapter 12, page 114, second paragraph, that the hour counts do not seem to add up to the quoted 35 hours.  However, the idea conveyed was clear.   I really enjoyed reading this book and give it five stars for content and life application.

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Discipling as Jesus Discipled – Dan Spader

414632Personally I had a hard time working through this devotional book.  I eventually decided I could not follow the authors contextual intent of the book. John 17 is a prayer that reflects the  relationship between the Father and Son and how that relationship was made manifest to the disciples during his earthly ministry.  Jesus prays not only for himself but for the disciples and those that will follow in the future.  It provides insight about how the world would relate to them in the same way it did with Jesus. The relational and intentional content made the most sense, but the disciplines did not seem to follow with the intent of the scripture.   Maybe I missed it, but for the most part this was not home run devotional book for me.

“Moody Publishers Blogger Program provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review.”

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Greater – Steven Furtick

downloadGreater by Steven Furtick is a book that will change your life if you just absorb and implement the biblical based guidance he delivers in this volume.  Steven Furtick’s writing style draws you into the word of the Lord, as well as his own personal experiences and the experiences of others.  He engages in such a way that will prompt you to practice the simple but profound principles he lays. A GREATER life fueled by the power of Jesus Christ in and through you to launch you into a life purposed by the Lord for you.

This is the second book I have read by Steven Furtick, and I could not put this book down.  I was able to read it in a matter of days. Not that I am a fast reader, but I was engaged by the power of the Holy Spirit, mainly because the reading of this book could not come at a better time in my life and ministry as a pastor.  It was a God send!  If you will allow God to ignite his vision within you, pursue it, live it, breathe it, you will not be the same.

“Blogging for Books provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review.”

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Crash the Chatterbox – Steven Furtick

424563Crash the Cratterbox by Steven Furtick is a book about hearing God’s voice above all others.  Steven Furtick has addressed a topic in this book that seriously cripples most of us. Everybody has something to say about us and so does the enemy of our souls.   Over the courses of thirteen chapters Furtick unpacks this chatterbox and develops a Biblical strategy for overcoming the chatter of life.    His writing style connects you to him and the subject of his book naturally. I really appreciated that he himself struggles with the chatter of life just like the rest of us.  His experience and discovered resolve added a personal touch to the book. He is not writing the book as an expert that is above the problem but in the throes of it.

On a personal note, this book has impacted my life at a time when it was needed the most. I got a slow start to the book and had to put it aside for a while.  When I came back to it the text and truths poured off the pages of the book and into my life through the power of the Holy Spirit.   The chatterbox in my life has been huge, in fact it has been debilitating in all areas of my life.   God has used this book to break through the chatterbox and has given me the “tools” to win the battle. The war still rages but its impact on my life is now in its proper place.  Under the blood and victory of Jesus.

 I highly recommend this book and give it 5 stars, not only for its content but the way Steven Furtick has written it. Very well done!

 “Blogging for Books provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review.”

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Authentic – James MacDonald

457173_w185Authentic by James MacDonald is a book about developing the disciplines of a sincere faith.  For the purpose of this review I will be dividing it into three areas – presentation, content and application.  It is my opinion that many book reviews just retell the book in extreme short form without really reviewing the book.  The format I have chosen to use will provide the structure for a straight forward review.

Presentation:  Authentic was received as a paperback book. Its cover, while somewhat plain, will add meaning once the book is read.  Moody Publishers used a durable covering with easy to read text on a bright white paper.  Bright pages can present a challenge if you are reading in the sun due to glare.  The book was divided into seven chapters which tended to be long.  For me, I prefer shorter chapters which enable a person to read for shorter periods of time.  Biblical texts are bolded to make the Scriptures pop.  I appreciated this feature as it was easy to look back to reread them if needed.

Content: Authentic was a great read that covered the basic disciplines that will help develop a sincere faith.  James MacDonald shared life and church experiences to reinforce the principles that he presented for the duration of the book.  The seven chapters cover the following disciplines: Personal Bible study and prayer, fasting, fellowship, service, and worship.  Each chapter presented a clear case why believers need to poses these disciplines, but also provided ideas to engage each one. Personally I would have liked to see a few more experiences of people that can attest to the practiced disciplines.  Real life stories help authenticate validity in the mind and hearts of others.

Application:  Authentic is full of life change possibilities if applied.  I was challenged in many areas that need additional surrender to the Lord.  It can’t be dismissed that what James MacDonald covers is a much needed book for our times.  When the world is looking for authentic expression of the Christian faith, believers should ooze theses disciplines addressed in this book.

 For me this book gets four and half stars out of five

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

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You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader – Mark Sanborn

073057_w185Mark Sanborn, in his book “You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader”, builds on the concept that leadership is not all about having a title.   In fact, leadership is not about position but influence.  That influence can be exerted in a negative or positive way.  The first several chapters build on this premise and presents real life examples of how this manifests itself in the lives of those without titles.  The rest of the book deals with six principles of leadership.  (The Power of Self Mastery, The Power of Focus, Power with People, The Power of Persuasive Communication, The Power of Execution, The Power of Giving)

Sanborn says that, “The biggest difference between people who manage others, versus people who lead others, is how they develop those under them.”  What impressed me the most about this quote is that this activity takes place every day, and more often than not it happens without a title attached to a person making the difference.  Therefore, it raises a great question, what are you doing to develop others?  This book will give you the basis to do just that – make a positive difference in the life of somebody else even if you don’t have a title.

I would have to say that this is a great leadership book.  The focus on leading without a title is only really dealt with in the first several chapters; then the rest of the book deals with leadership in general.  The book is peppered with examples that drive home the concepts being presented.  This makes it easy to understand and makes personal life application possible.  I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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Jesus, Pure & Simple – Wayne Cordeiro

Jesus – Pure and Simple by Wayne Cordeiro is a book that you will not want to read through and let it collect dust on a bookshelf. Its context will challenge you to look to the core of who you are in Christ even after you are done reading the book.  This is the second book I have read of Wayne’s and I must say this book takes center stage.  As I read through the chapters, I often walked away with conviction of mind and heart to return my own life to a pure and simple devotion to Christ.  Life today has every distraction that will compete for our attention and attempt to pull us away from Jesus. This book will give you the Biblical basics of the whys and how tos  to live a life uncomplicated by the world and even religion itself.

Each chapter is well organized and presents it context in such a way that it will capture you from page one.  I thought that the group study questions at the end of each chapter provide a great tool for group discussion.   I believe that this gem of a book deserves a place in every home.  If you just read it and put it down it will do you no good. This book and its message must be injected into the heart of the Christian so that it can go deep. It must be pondered and reflected upon in order for it to really sink in.  I highly recommend this book to every believer.  It has the potential along with the power of the Holy Spirit to change your life.    It’s time to get back to Jesus!

I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers for this review. (see disclaimer page for more information)

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