Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Champions in the Wilderness by Bob Santos

Champions in the Wilderness Front Cover.jpg
          I like the Bible. and when I read Christian books, I like it when they take their thoughts from the Bible, rather than trying to find scriptures to confirm their thoughts, as the current trend is in today's Christian books and in many pulpits also. So, when I began reading Champions in the Wilderness by Bob Santos, I found myself comforted by the Biblical emphasis the author takes in this book, which is a 52 lesson devotional that I believe you will find beneficial in helping you navigate through seemingly dry spots, confusing spots and sometimes even painful periods in your walk with God. Rather than provide a step by step map through the wilderness periods of the Christian life, the book will serve as more of a guidebook along the terrain that you will travel, teaching you what you will likely encounter, and how to navigate it successfully.
          Perhaps you've never heard of Bob Santos. But as you read Champions in the Wilderness, you'll get to know hin a little better. Bob was born-again in 1980 while in college at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and later served on the same campus for 16 years in ministry to college students. In 2006, he and his wife Debi launched Search For Me Ministries. He writes from a wealth of experience as both a Christian serving Jesus faithfully and as a full time minister. Many stories from his own life and ministry are woven throughout the book. He is candidly honest but challenging in his lessons and they will cause you to look inside yourself and be open for examination, while looking inside the Bible for answers.
          The book has four sections, focusing the lessons on understanding your journey, faith, security and purpose. The chapters are short, normally with a Bible reading, quote and lesson. These are followed by probing questions, action steps, a closing prayer and further reading. I was able to read through the material quickly so that I might blog about it, but I do not recommend that approach. Take the time to read the material, answer the questions, take the steps, pray the prayer and read further. Though there are 52 lessons, I think a small group would benefit from the material.                
          Finally, there are a couple of places where I felt the lesson could have been supported better by a different scripture reference, but not many of them. But this did not hinder the points from getting across. I received this book free through the book review program for bloggers at www.bookcrash.com and was not required to write a positive review. You may purchase this book at http://www.amazon.com. To the author I say, good job Mr. Santos, I look forward to reading any works you might produce in the future.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The New Answers Book 4 by Ken Ham

              There are several subjects in the world which can ignite debate rather quickly. One of the prominent topics that can be found on that list is the subject of evolution. While some may claim that this debate is fueled only by the sides of Christians vs. non-Christians, the lines are not that distinct, as there are many non-Christians who profess non-evolutionary views, and even many Christians who believe that the earth evolved as part of Gods creation. But, whichever side of the debate you choose to stand on, Ken Ham and the organization Answers in Genesis have put together another book which addresses many questions that people have in connection with science, creation and the Biblical accounts of life and the issues it addresses.
               The book I reviewed is the New Answers Book 4. This is the fourth in a series which contains articles, lectures and messages given in response to common questions that stem from the ongoing dialogue between creationists and evolutionists. Written by a series of authors, with a litany of credentials to support their expertise and experience, the book approaches each issue from the perspective of creation science and provides the reasons, scientifically, why the writers hold their viewpoints.
               The New Answers Book 4 contains 33 chapters. The questions answered include, "Was Charles Darwin A Christian?", "What About Living Fossils?" and "How Big is the Universe?". There are too many others to list, but it is a wide variety of topics within the scientific community that are discussed within it's pages. I am not a very scientifically minded person, so I was lost at several points in what is probably simple language to most people in the field. But, I did find the book a very valuable resource and believe it will help you to understand the perspective of many issues from a creation science viewpoint, even if you do not agree.
              I received this book for free through the Master's Books, a division of New Leaf Press Publishing Group, book review program for bloggers at nlpg.com. The views expressed are my own and I was not required to write a positive review. You may order the book at http://www.nlpg.com/new-answers-book-4 or preview the contents of The New Answers Book 4 at the link http://www.nlpg.com/downloads/dl/file/id/489/the_new_answers_book_4.pdf. In an age where many believe that creationists have no scientific validity for their convictions, The New Answers Book 4 will offer the reasonable, rational and relatable reasons for a radical faith in the God who created the world.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Innovation's Dirty Little Secret by Larry Osborne

            Let me get straight to the conclusion, lest what I say at first confuse you or lose you. This is a fantastic book that I highly recommend for anyone who is a leader or aspires to be one. Ok, now that I've said those words, allow me to back track a little bit.
             When I first saw the cover and title of Larry Osborne's new book "Innovation's Dirty Little Secret" I wasn't very enthused to read it. But since I have read a previous work by the author, since he does come highly recommended by many prominent leaders and since the book was short, I decided to give it a try. And although I didn't feel engaged in the first chapter or two, the book quickly picked up. I was soon hooked on continuing to read and was impressed by the impact it had on me.
            Dr. Larry Osborne is the Pastor of North Coast Church in San Diego. His premise in the book is that most innovations fail. He then goes on to explore why they succeed or fail, how to think differently and he offers keys to successful innovations. Using both the realms of ministry and business as his platforms, the book is packed with illustrations on each point that really show clear, visual examples of the points he endeavors to drive home.
             I received this book free from the publisher through the http://www.booksneeze.com book review program for bloggers. I was not required to write a positive review. The views expressed are my own. Even if you don't lead a ministry, business or group, this book will allow you to think much differently. And if you currently lead, or will eventually, this may give you some keys to allowing yourself and others to safely release the ideas inside to make a difference in the lives of those who follow you.