Thursday, January 26, 2012

And back to school.

I am starting to take classes again.

My main textbook is 900 pages long.  Add in the additional textbook and that's another 300 pages.  Add in the number of pages in my Bible in the Old Testament (which I'm assuming we will be required to read all of it) and that's a total of 2600 pages of reading!  Wow.

I'm going to finish up the books I have to review and then probably not review many more for a while.

In fact, my textbook is almost 2" thick!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Book Review: God is a MatchMaker

God Is a MatchmakerGod Is a Matchmaker by Derek Prince

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found this book difficult to put down. While it was first published in 1986, the principles in it do not go out of date. Derek Prince, along with his wife, Ruth, tell the story of how they met and married. Rev. Prince also tells the story of how he met his first wife. (She passed away, that is why he re-married.)

In this book, there are a lot of "chance encounters" that led them to each other. In fact, Rev. Prince decides he is going to marry Ruth, but his accountability group is against it! So he waits. In time, they agree he is making a good decision.

This book is a great example of what can happen when we are living life devoted to God -- along the way we may find someone who is the right one to marry!

Monday, January 23, 2012

"I hope our paths cross this year"

Some years back I read a story about a person who said they always put at the bottom of Christmas cards, "I hope our paths cross this year."  I had a neat experience like that recently.

I was traveling through Ohio and remembered some friends recently moved to Ohio from Missouri.  I hadn't seen them in 20 years since we were in college together.  Looked up where they lived, and it wasn't far out of my way, so I sent them a message and we were able to get together for about an hour at a local sandwich shop, which had great food and somewhere I never would have gone without a local suggesting it!

It wasn't a long visit, but yet it was a nice time to be able to catch up a little, be shocked at what 20 years does to appearances, and just spend a little time together.  I ate breakfast with one of the two friends every morning in the cafeteria in college one semester, so it almost felt like we were back at school before our 7:30 class!

The visit was fun, it was short and much easier to plan than if we spent a whole day together.  I even suggested we meet for lunch.  This let them off the hook of me saying "Why don't I drop by".  I think all these things helped add up to a great visit.

So in your travels this year, I hope there's someone who you can cross paths with whom you haven't seen in years.  Trust me, it's worth the effort to meet up even for only an hour!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Book review: Meeting the Waters

The Meeting of the Waters: 7 Global Currents That Will Propel the Future ChurchThe Meeting of the Waters: 7 Global Currents That Will Propel the Future Church by Fritz Kling

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a great book for anyone who is interested in missions and the future of the Church in mission. It addresses concerns in sensitive areas of the world such as how technology can track the movements of missionaries. The author compares and contrasts the history of missions with current trends and how those trends will effect the future of sending missionaries. He encourages the use of natives in every part of the world as much as possible, and to see missions as a partnership, not as a one way "We send, you receive our help" but instead working together to meet a common goal. While it seemed to drag slightly in a few places, I was fascinated with some of the ideas different churches are doing that he discussed. For instance a church in a traditional "sending" country asked for foreign workers to come from a country where they were getting an influx of immigrants. Not your traditional idea, but certainly a fantastic approach as those missionaries would already know the language and the culture. I highly recommend this to anyone who is a pastor, missionary, or interested in missions!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Book Review: I am a Follower

I Am a Follower: The Way, Truth, and Life of Following JesusI Am a Follower: The Way, Truth, and Life of Following Jesus by Leonard Sweet

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am a Follower:  The Way, Truth and Life of Following Jesus by Leonard Sweet makes some great points about how in the twenty-first century we find focus on leadership.  Jesus didn't call us to leadership, He called us to follow.  This book explores that theme.  The author has some fantastic quotes in this book, and I often found myself reaching for a pen and notebook to jot some of them down.  At the same time, I also felt the book was aimed more at those in church ministry positions than those of us who are just members of the church.  While I realize this is to emphasize they should be followers and not focus on leading, it still felt a bit more like church leadership material than I would have liked.

That said, I did really enjoy this book.  The quotes were fantastic.  There were a lot of ideas that I will be thinking about for some time.  This would make a great group study for a church board or group of pastors, especially from different churches as it would bring the focus on Jesus and not on denominational differences. 

This book is divided into four parts:  The Place, The Way, The Truth, The Life.  After each section are "Interactives"  (commonly known as discussion questions in other books)  The other thing I didn't like about this book is the sections within these four parts were somewhat short and I am a reader who will sit down and read for an hour or more at a time, and this made the reading not flow quite as well for me.  However, I realize others would very much like this because it allows for it to be digested in short bits. 

Overall, I did very much enjoy this book and would recommend it to anyone in a church leadership position.

FTC Disclaimer:  I received a free review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.   It in no way influenced my opinion.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Book Review: Feminine Appeal

Feminine AppealFeminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If it were possible, I'd give this book 3.5 stars.  It's hard for me to find a Christian women's book I give more than that.  While it's got some great advice in it, at the same time, I found offense at the part that said if you stay up late and call yourself a night owl, she likened that to laziness.

While the "Seven Virtures" are good, I also was under the impression this was a good read for single women in preparation of marriage.  While I suppose that is true, the title and the book is focused on the wife and mother.

It did have some great ideas on how to submit without being a doormat (which is how I've generally heard submission taught), how to encourage your children (which I can use with my "niece" and "newphews", how to serve (and aren't we all to be servants of one another) so I would say this is a worthwhile read if you are wanting to learn more about becoming a model Christian wife and mother. 

You can buy it from Amazon here:  Feminine Appeal (New Expanded Edition with Questions)