Tuesday, March 31, 2009

There's a Giveaway!

Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus

The lovely people at Zondervan have agreed to provide five free copies of Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg for a giveaway to ChristFocus Book Club members.

This contest is for USA residents only.

The giveaway runs from March 31 until noon on April 12th. You must have a twitter account and follow @ChristFocus. To enter the giveaway, send me a tweet at @ChristFocus saying "@christfocus Enter me to win "Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus.""

I'll randomly select the winners at midnight (central time) on April 12, 2009 and list them on this blog. I'll inform the winners through twitter and ask for their shipping addresses. I pass those five addresses on to Zondervan who will then ship the book to you.

I hope everyone has fun with this, and I look forward to hearing what everyone thinks of this book! You can read my review of the book here.

Monday, March 30, 2009

May/June Book: Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus

We've already got some exciting books in the line-up! Our May book is an incredibly interesting book that'll get you digging into the Bible:

Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus

Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus:
How the Jewishness of Jesus Can Transform Your Faith
Ann Spangler, Lois Tverberg

Hardback: 272 pages
Publisher: Zondervan
First Released: 2009

Source: Review copy from publisher

Back Cover Description:
A rare chance to know Jesus as his first disciples knew him.

What would it be like to journey back to the first century and sit at the feet of Rabbi Jesus as one of his Jewish disciples? How would your understanding of the gospel have been shaped by the customs, beliefs, and traditions of the Jewish culture in which you lived?

Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus takes you on a fascinating tour of the Jewish world of Jesus, offering inspirational insights that can transform your faith. Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg paint powerful scenes from Jesus’ ministry, immersing you in the prayers, feasts, history, culture, and customs that shaped Jesus and those who followed him.

You will hear the parables as they must have sounded to first-century Jews, powerful and surprising. You will join the conversations that were already going on among the rabbis of his day. You will watch with new understanding as the events of his life unfold. And you will emerge with new excitement about the roots of your own Christian faith.

Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus will change the way you read Scripture and deepen your understanding of the life of Jesus. It will also help you to adapt the rich prayers and customs you learn about to your own life, in ways that both respect and enrich your Christian faith.

By looking at the Jewishness of Jesus, Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg take you on a captivating journey into the heart of Judaism, one that is both balanced and insightful, helping you to better understand and appreciate your own faith.

Here's a link if you want to look inside the book.

I'm working on a ChristFocus Book Club discount deal for buying the book from Book-A-Million.

To join ChristFocus Book Club, follow @ChristFocus on twitter and start discussing the book using the hashtag #cfbc.

July/August Book (tentative):

Because He Loves Me

Because He Loves Me:
How Christ Transforms Our Daily Life
Elyse M. Fitzpatrick

Hardback: 217 pages
Publisher: Crossway Books
First Released: 2008

Here's a link for more information.

I'm working on a ChristFocus Book Club discount deal for buying the book from Book-A-Million.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Review Guidelines

For this blog, I'm interested in reviewing Christian non-fiction books focused on God and the Bible (rather than on ourselves). These can be spiritual growth, theology, Bible study, Bibles, Bible times and culture, or similar type of books. I'm also interested in reviewing DVDs that focus on helping the viewer to better understand the Bible. Please e-mail me (GenreReviewsDTDP (at) gmail (dot) com) with a description of the book or DVD, etc.

Please note, I'm under no obligation to review the book or DVD even if you send it. I'm also under no obligation to give the book or DVD a good review. However, so far I've reviewed every book or DVD that I've requested.

I post my reviews here, on Amazon, on Goodreads (for books), and on Christianbook.com. I also Twitter about the books as I read them and about my reviews.

This blog is mainly for reviewing Christian non-fiction books, so please go to my Genre Reviews blog if you wish to have your novel reviewed or to my Different Times, Different Place book blog if you want your non-Christian non-fiction book reviewed.

When I'm done reading a review copy sent to me by a publisher, author, or publicist, I either give it away through my blog or donate it to my local jail or an Arkansas state prison or recycle it.

Would you like to join?

About the Club
I thought it would be fun to set up an online book club where we'd read Christian non-fiction books together. The books will focus on scripture, God's character, and our relationship with Christ. We'll take two months to read each book, which means you can finish a book even if you only read about five pages each day. During that time, we'll talk on online about the book--what we liked about the book or how it's impacted our walk with Christ. You can also ask what others thought of a certain point made by the book.

Joining the club is free--just start discussing the book in the book discussion post to become an active member. However, unless you win one of our free give-away copies of the book, you do have to buy the book for yourself (from whatever source you prefer).

I'll set up a post on this blog where we can discuss each book using the comments option.

We can also discuss the book on Twitter. You can follow @ChristFocus on Twitter and discuss the books using the Twitter hashtag #cfbc. (If you are new to twitter, you may find The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter or The Ultimate Guide for Everything Twitter helpful.)

To follow the Twitter book club conversation, go to #cfbc or install a program like Twirl, activate a search for #cfbc, and get realtime updates on messages tagged with #cfbc.

E-mail me if you need any help with this.

The Books
I'll keep a list of upcoming books on this blog. We'll start a new book on the first of the month in January, March, May, July, September, and November.

You don't have to buy and read any book that doesn't look interesting to you, though, of course, I'll think you're missing out on a great book. ;) You'll have two months to read each book before we start a new one. However, discussions on previous club books can continue even once we've officially started a new book.

You can buy the books wherever you wish. However, I have set up a ChristFocus Book Club discount deal with Books-A-Million for buying the chosen books. If you click through the below ad (or the one in the sidebar of the blog) to Books-A-Million and buy books from them, you will get a ChristFocus Book Club discount. How? Enter the number 0013765289 into the discount club card area at checkout and get 10% off your entire purchase. This discount number will not work unless you have first clicked though a BAM ad on this site.

If we get enough orders through this link, BAM will provide ChristFocus with free Christian nonfiction books to give away. So if you're buying online, use this link and discount number--everyone benefits!

BAM ad

The Contest
I'll also I'll ask the publisher to provide ChristFocus Book Club with several free copies of the chosen book. I'll hold a contest for club members to win these free books.

Publishers are willing to give away free contest copies because they're hoping the winners will read the book, love it, and tell other people about it (who might then buy the book). I want to be a good steward, so I am adding a rule.

If you've won a free book through ChristFocus Book Club in the past, I'd like to know you're actively reading it. I'd ask that you don't enter a contest for the next book if you aren't finished (or nearly finished) with the current book. To help me know you are reading the book, I'd ask that you comment about the book you won in the correct book discussion on this blog or using #cfbc on Twitter.

If you've never won a book through ChristFocus Book Club, you can enter any contest that interests you.

The contest will begin a month before the book is slated to be read. Winners will be chosen two weeks later.

The Discussion
Once you have a copy of the book, start reading it. As you read, discuss it by making comments on the correct book discussion post on this blog or on Twitter using the hashtag #cfbc.

Sometime near the end of the second month, I'll try to set up an interview with the author (if still living) where we can ask the author questions about the book. Post any questions you'd like to ask the author under the correct book discussion post on this blog. I'll be sure to pass the questions on when I do the interview. The interview will then be posted on this blog.

Thank you for your interest in ChristFocus Book Club! Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions.