Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Living Life Undaunted by Christine Caine

       Christine Caine is a popular conference speaker, author and the founder of the Acts 21 Campaign, which helps to rescue the victims of human trafficking. I have written about her book "Undaunted" previously. Now, there comes a devotional resource connected to the same concepts found in "Undaunted". Christine's newest book is titled "Living Life Undaunted" and packs quite a bit of information in it's pages. The readings pivot off many of the concepts found in the original work, allowing the reader more time to meditate and reflect on the scriptural truths that the writer presents.
       The book is a year-long devotional with 365 readings that are 1-2 pages each. Every new day begins with a scripture verse, the devotional thoughts, and a brief 'Moment of Reflection' to ask a question and exhort toward the topical goal. As a devotional it would be easy to read, though for the purpose of this blog I read considerably more than a day at a time. Divided into four sections with three months in each one, the main four subjects addressed in each quarter are 'broken', 'loved', 'empowered' and 'commissioned'. This gives a framework for what the author is attempting to convey with each allotted span.
        First, Christine Caine is a gifted writer and she communicates with humor and pointed clarity that allows for thoughtful introspection (which is another way of saying she makes you laugh and then kicks you when you least expect it to wake you up to action). Second, any page of the day's musings may be taken on it's own to use for personal edification. However, I did on several occasions find myself questioning why she would open the day with a particular scripture verse that did not seem directly connected to that day's discussion.
        Still, it was a good devotional and it's simplicity makes it easy to digest for any age group or gender, though women appear to be the main target audience in mind as the writings are presented. I received this book for free through the book review program for bloggers, available at http://booklookbloggers.com. I recommend the book for those who need encouraged, those who don't know how loved they are and those who find it hard to imagine what God can do through them...and through you and me too.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Dear Son by Dave Bruskas

        Fatherless sons are an at an epidemic high in both the United States and around the world. But, one topic that is not mentioned as frequently is that of sonless fathers. When you combine these two fields of study and address some of the important issues which a father should discuss with his sons, you have the material found in the book 'Dear Son', the first book written by Pastor Dave Bruskas.
        Dave Bruskas is an executive elder at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington. He has decades of Pastoral experience and is married with four daughters. Dave also had a son who died in infancy. One of the unique features of 'Dear Son' is found at the beginning of each chapter. It is in that spot where the author inserts a letter of only a few pages that he writes to his son David, the child who died. These letters address the topic in the chapter by relating personal stories about their family. They serve as a brief introduction for each subject.
        Some of the subjects covered in this book include Biblical advice on how to be a son, Christian, father, citizen, husband and others. Spread throughout the pages are scriptural gleanings from the New Testament letters of 1 and 2 Timothy, with other passages as well. I liked this book and feel it is very needed as a compass for young men seeking to navigate life. However, Mars Hill Church has a consistent reputation for emphasizing scripture as primary in living, and I did not find that scripture was emphasized enough in relation to each subject. It seemed like it was added to the subjects, rather than being the focus of them.
         Again, I did like the book. And I do recommend it, but there is something you'll need to be aware of regarding the intended audience. It is written primarily to young men, in the age bracket of their teems to twenties. While the principles in the pages are true and applicable for any age group, it is the intended age bracket that will obviously benefit the most from it,. I received this book for free from the book review program for bloggers, available at www.tyndaleblognetwork.com. All young men need help in their journey through life. I hope that this book will fall into the hands of many of them, and that they will apply the Biblical principles in it's pages to be more like Jesus on their journey.