Sunday, July 8, 2018

Devotions from the Lake by Thomas Nelson

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Devotions from the Lake
by Thomas Nelson


ISBN-13: 9781400309160
Hardback: 224 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Released: April 24, 2018

Source: Review copy from the publisher through BookLook bloogers.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Life has a way of slowing down and simplifying when you’re by the water. Enjoying long walks, ice cream cones, and watercolor sunsets with your family and friends is a way of life on lake days . . . wouldn’t it be a dream to live like that year-round?

Devotions from the Lake includes 100 devotions and beautiful photography.It is a wonderful way to start each day at the lake with quiet devotional time as you gain deeper insight into how God meets us through rest and play and how to bring all the best parts of “lake life” to everyday life.


My Review:
Devotions from the Lake has 100 devotions loosely based on things that you might do or see when staying at a lake. Each devotion started with a verse. The author reminisced about the theme--skipping stones, popcorn, coffee, shells, etc.--then tied in the verse and provided a very short prayer. There's also a full-color picture of the theme, but only a few were lake scenes.

Most of the themes were only loosely connected to the accompanying verse. For example, for Isaiah 53:4 ("Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows."), the author initially talked about hearing mourning doves in the distance. Then "...mourning doves are commonly found sitting on telephone wires. This reminds us that when mourning stirs anew, we can find comfort in a phone call to a friend who understands..." Only the last three sentences referred to the verse and Jesus.

However, some of the devotions used the theme to illustrate the principle in the verse. For example, the one on Psalm 32:9 with the horseback riding theme talked about a horse that is responsive to its rider and how we should likewise be responsive to a nudging from God. I enjoyed these, but I felt like most of the devotions were more focused on the reminiscing than on God.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

In All Things by Melissa B. Kruger

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In All Things
by Melissa B. Kruger


ISBN-13: 9780735291140
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook & Multnomah
Released: June 5, 2018

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description from Goodreads:
This accessible and practical Bible study of the book of Philippians invites you to discover a joy and contentment that will carry you through every circumstance of life.

With warm teaching and perspective-shifting insights, Bible teacher Melissa Kruger walks you through the power-packed words of the apostle Paul to believers in the early church to discover what he knew about the secret to unshakeable peace--and how his insights can help any woman discover a secure and satisfying contentment no matter what life may bring. With the Scripture passages printed right in the book for handy reference, this is an ideal resource for busy women of any life stage who want to deepen their spiritual life and increase their daily joy.


My Review:
In All Things is a 9 week Bible study on Philippians designed for personal or group study. Each week has 5 days of personal study. The first day involved reading a section of Philippians and answering questions about what the text says. The second day focused on what the text means. The third day brought in related verses for better understanding of the text and focused on how the verses transform you. The fourth day was application involving a point or two from the verses. The fifth day was a devotional. The Scripture verses were printed in the book so everyone's reading the same version. At the end of the book, there were suggested questions for each week that can be used for group discussion. Overall, I'd recommend this Bible study.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

His Name Is Wonderful by Charles R. Swindoll

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His Name Is Wonderful
by Charles R. Swindoll


ISBN-13: 9780849984297
Paperback: 114 pages
Publisher: Insight for Living
Released: April 1, 1992

Source: Bought used.

Book Description, Modified from Amazon:
Awaiting you inside is the Messiah, the True Vine, the Advocate, and the King of Kings--all in one Person--Jesus. Jesus' names are living revelations, each introducing you to a unique aspect of His infinite nature. You'll see the peerless sovereign proclaimed through the Alpha and the Omega, the compassionate guardian manifested in the Good Shepard, the matchless authority acknowledged in the Lord of Lords, the sinless sacrifice unveiled in the Lamb of God.


My Review:
His Name Is Wonderful is a Bible study on some of the names of God. The 12 chapters covered Lord; King of Kings; Messiah; Amen; Alpha and Omega; Savior; True Vine; Shepherd; Lamb of God; The Way, the Truth, the Life; Mediator; and Advocate. The author talked about where the name was used in Scripture, what the name means, and its significance. He ended with a suggested prayer and several discussion questions related to the name, and these questions sometimes involved looking up other verses. Some of the chosen names were a bit obscure (like "Amen"), but the book was generally interesting.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Journeys with Jesus by Dennis E. Johnson

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Journeys with Jesus
by Dennis E. Johnson;
Abridged by Richard B. Ramsay


ISBN-13: 9781629955384
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: P & R Publishing
Released: May 31, 2018

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description from Goodreads:
This is an abridged edition of Walking with Jesus through His Word (P&R, 2015).

The Bible’s sixty-six books form one overarching story—the story of a Hero and his heroic missions. And this story is personal, focusing on the relationship of God and his people in the past, present, and future.

On this eye-opening journey through the Old and New Testaments, Dennis Johnson shows how pervasive, recurring themes are always pointing us to Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of all God’s promises and all humanity’s hopes and longings. He shows us how to read on the alert, paying attention to the clues, examining their context, and interpreting them correctly.

The story of Christ is the most important story of all. Meditate on the beautiful unity of God’s redemptive plan, and let your heart be kindled to flame with love for the Lord who came to serve us in love.


My Review:
Journeys with Jesus describes how passages in the Old Testament point to Christ and His mission. Jesus taught his disciples on the road to Emmaus about where the Old Testament spoke about Him and what He had suffered. This author believes that this information was also taught to the other disciples, and we find the these teachings in the New Testament. He believes that it is important to read the Old Testament with this in view.

The author started by explaining the importance of covenants and how they were given and grew more detailed as the overall story of the Bible progresses. He also explained how we need to look at the context of a passage, its meaning to the original audience, and its place in the unfolding plan of God's Redemption. He also explained how to identify prophecies, people, and events that foreshadow Jesus and his mission. He also looked at the roles of prophet, priest, and king and how those roles (and the sacrifices) are fulfilled Christ. The author provided many examples of all of these things.

He also explained the role of the Holy Spirit to teach and guide us as we read Bible. Overall, I'd highly recommend this book for its solid, clear teaching on this important and exciting way of studying your Bible.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Life of Moses by James Montgomery Boice

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The Life of Moses
by James Montgomery Boice


ISBN-13: 9781596387539
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: P & R Publishing
Released: May 31, 2018

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Moses is renowned as a great lawgiver, prophet, friend of God, and deliverer of his people. The events of his life, spanning four books of the Bible, resound throughout Scripture. In this epic undertaking, James M. Boice delves into the narrative to uncover its rich meaning and gospel application to our lives today. We can learn a lot from Moses about faithfulness, prayerfulness, meekness, and good leadership we can even learn from his sins and failure! But Boice shows how we can also look beyond Moses and the Israelites to the awesome power of God and the promise of a much needed, much greater Deliverer.


My Review:
The Life of Moses is a Bible study of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy based on a sermon series given by the author. The first half focused on Exodus and the second half was divided between Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. While the author spent most of his time on the narrative portions of the text, he did summarize the laws, rituals, and such. He explained how the various sacrifices and feasts point to Jesus and how the New Testament refers back to specific verses.

In each chapter, the author took a section of verses and summarized them. He provided background context and pointed out insights. He drew out principles that apply to our lives, but he also focused on what we learn about God from those verses. When he talked about symbolism in an object or person, he focused on what the New Testament authors point out as divinely intended symbolism.

The text was easy to read but stayed focused on the text and didn't get sidetracked into entertaining stories. Overall, I felt that this was a solid study. I'd highly recommend it, especially to Christians who are unfamiliar with these books of the Bible.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Resurrection Life in a World of Suffering Edited by D. A. Carson

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Resurrection Life in a World of Suffering
1 Peter
Edited by D. A. Carson


ISBN-13: 9781433557002
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Crossway
Released: June 30, 2018

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
With contributions from popular Bible teachers such as John Piper, Jen Wilkin, D. A. Carson, and Kathleen Nielson, this collection of biblical expositions explores the book of 1 Peter and the gospel perspective it gives on our short lives. With discussion questions and sections on how to teach after each chapter, this powerful anthology of six talks not only points us to the suffering of Jesus and prepares us to live as sojourners in this world, but also equips us to dig into the texts that address these themes.


My Review:
Resurrection Life in a World of Suffering is a transcript of a series of talks on 1 Peter given at the June 2016 Gospel Coalition 3rd National Women's Conference. The speakers worked together to provide a cohesive commentary/study of 1 Peter. Their styles varied but the focus was consistent.

Each took a chunk of 1 Peter and talked about what was being communicated by Peter, provided background context, and showed how Peter connected his teachings to Old Testament passages. There were discussion questions at the end of each chapter along with an interview with that speaker on how they had developed their talk. The book was more academic in tone, though usually easy enough to understand. There's just not much filler (which I appreciate). Overall, I'd recommend this book.

Juan Sanchez's introduction provided an overview of 1 Peter. Kathleen Nielson talked on 1 Peter 1:1-12. Jen Wilkin talked on 1 Peter 1:13-2:3. Carrie Sandom talked on 1 Peter 2:4-10. Mary Willson talked on 1 Peter 2:11-3:12. D.A. Carson talked on 1 Peter 3:13-4:19. John Piper talked on 1 Peter 5:1-14.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Monday, May 14, 2018

The Daniel Key by Anne Graham Lotz

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The Daniel Key
by Anne Graham Lotz


ISBN-13: 9780310091936
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Zondervan
Released: March 27, 2018

Source: Review copy from the publisher through BookLook.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
What are the secrets of a successful, steadfast, and godly faith? Daniel's faith did not waver facing those who were against him, serving new kings in power, or even confronting hungry lions. How can you have that kind of faith? Daniel made 20 intentional, key choices in his life. Those choices took him down a path to a close relationship with God and a model for godly living to all around him. Daniel’s choices can be your choices—choices such as:

The choice to trust, to obey, to pray, to worship, to repent, to live humbly, to have courage...


My Review:
The Daniel Key looks at 20 habits or actions that Daniel did that led to him being a successful, well-known man of God. The book is a hardbound, gift-type book and has a devotional format. Each chapter started with a verse (usually from Daniel) which had the characteristic focused on in that chapter. Then the author told a story--from Daniel's life or from her own or another's life--that demonstrated that characteristic. She clearly summed up the spiritual point, then provided a few questions to think about relating to that topic and a prayer asking for help in that area. She made good points. Overall, I'd recommend this book, especially for new Christians or young Christians (like teens).

The 20 keys were: faith (in God), worship, loyalty (to God), prayer partners, praying for others, praying God's word, attitude (and gratitude), listening (to God), daily prayer time, perseverance, desperate prayers, values (worth dying for), focus (on God), courage, confession (of sins to God), fasting (from things we hold tight to), humility, a personal relationship with God, and commitment (to God).


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.