Posts tagged ‘Book Review’

Book Review – Crazy Love by Francis Chan

Product Details Over my vacation I read Francis Chan’s book, Crazy Love (not to be confused with the summer blockbuster, Crazy, Stupid, Love). I have a lot of respect for this man, so I was really looking forward to this read. I have seen him speak and I feel like he can be a riveting and powerful speaker, but I found the book to be a bit dry at times. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy or feel inspired by this book in many ways.

I really, really did!

In fact, there were many very convicting chapters and concepts, especially towards the middle section of the book. But both the beginning and the end of the book did not hold my interest as much as I was expecting they would. I did appreciate the fact that he included video clips on his book website, crazylovebook.com. I felt this resource enhanced my reading experience.

Overall, I do feel as if I have been challenged to be more giving and loving. I really felt convicted during chapter four, “Profile of the Lukewarm.” It was almost painful to read through that chapter! I felt the same way about chapter eight, “Profile of the Obsessed.”

Francis Chan has a gut-level honest way of saying the truth that reminds me of one of my all-time favorite modern-day “prophets,” the late Keith Green. You feel convicted to your core, but also a little bruised and weary at times too. Don’t get me wrong. He never says something in a judgmental way. He simply brings light to the sharp and penetrating* power of God’s Word.

After reading this book, I am moved to be more loving, more givingmore like Christ. I don’t want to live my life for my own personal desires and goals, but instead for Christ’s purposes and glory. To do anything less than that is falling short of my calling as a believer, as a Christian.

Even with my slight disappointment, I still feel like Francis Chan packs a powerful punch in Crazy Love . . .

So I would give his book an A- rating.

If you are a believer and looking to hone your purpose in life, this book will give you many things to think about and even more things to get busy doing!

*Hebrews 4:12

Today’s post is linked to – No Ordinary Blog Hop and

Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick – Book Review

There have only been two books in my life (other than the Bible) that have spiritually inspired me to such a significant degree and this book is one of them. Granted, both of the books were read while I was at a very discouraged point, desperately seeking answers. But regardless, in my opinion this is a great book.

As many of you know, last week I took a week off, out of discouragement, to unplug from life and plug into God. All I did was pray, journal, read my Bible and read this book for several days in a row. Amazingly, I felt as if God spoke to me loudly even on the very next day of my “fast.” And by day three and four, I felt even greater clarity about what God was saying to me.

I have to give credit for that clarity to this book and the way God is using Steven’s humble heart and message.

The idea behind the book is taken from Joshua chapter 10, when Joshua prayed an audacious prayer for God to make the sun stand still long enough for the Israelite army to defeat their enemies. That may seem like a selfish prayer, but Joshua was simply acting upon the victory God had already promised him. At the point when Joshua prayed his prayer, things weren’t going the Israelite’s way. But Joshua didn’t give up in the face of “discouragement” or seeming defeat. He claimed what God so graciously wanted to give him and the entire nation, so that God’s power would be demonstrated.

There were two major “ah ha” moments (among many) for me that I had while reading this book. The first was realizing just how much I look to people to give me confidence and confirm my direction or ability. But Furtick reminded me that it’s all about God! God is the one who makes the good things in my life happen—not me! You might think that wouldn’t be an encouraging thing to realize. But the reality is that I feel a huge weight being lifted and a renewed desire to focus completely on Him as He is strong in my weakness.

Now, let me back up a little—Furtick is no “name it and claim it” kind of preacher. He simply wants us to realize how “good” and how “great” our God is. And if we really believe that, then we will be bold enough, “audacious” (a word that Furtick should coin!) enough to ask God for big things. Now that doesn’t mean we can feed our “cash cow.” This isn’t about making our lives easier. This is about daring to walk into dangerous territory knowing that God will go before us to do great things!

I’m guilty—I have to admit that I’ve prayed wimpy, non-pushy prayers because I didn’t want to presume upon God! This was my second “ah ha” moment. I think somewhere along the line I picked up the idea that it’s wrong to presume that anyone would give me something good. I should beg and plead for it—because I don’t deserve it—and then quietly back peddle if anyone, but especially God, says “no.”

My old view of God is way too small, too weak, and so terribly stingy! Now I’m learning to view Him as a hugely loving and generous God who wants me to ask Him for big, bold, audacious requests—because He can deliver! Wow—such a gracious God, we serve! Who knew?!

I give Steven Furtick’s book, Sun Stand Still, an A++ rating.

So don’t just sit there, go buy it today! If you take Furtick’s message to heart, it will be the first of many great things you’ll do!

Mary Beth Chapman’s Choosing to SEE – Book Review

Product DetailsI give the book, Choosing to SEE by Mary Beth Chapman an A+.

In case you don’t know, Mary Beth is the wife of Grammy and Dove Award winning Christian recording artist, Steven Curtis Chapman.  Her book is an autobiographical account of their life leading up to the tragic accidental death of their five year old adopted daughter, Maria, and then how God brought them through that dark valley to find hope.

I have to say, Choosing to SEE is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. The first half of the book opened my eyes to the challenges Mary Beth faced, like chronic depression, issues with body image, as well as, marital conflicts. She also takes the reader along on their God-inspired journey to adopt, not one, not two, but eventually three daughters from China.

By the middle of the book she took a detailed and graphic look at the day they lost their beloved daughter. It brought me to tears, not just for the loss of Maria, but for the devastation it brought to their son, Will, who was the one who accidentally hit her with their SUV. Let me tell you, I didn’t stop crying (off and on) throughout the rest of the book—and I’m not a crier! But they were good tears—cleansing tears. I think that’s because I resonated with so many of the feelings and issues Mary Beth encountered. So if you are going through a valley experience, this will speak profoundly to you as well.

Mary Beth amazed me with her brutal honesty, in not only hard truths, but also in humorous moments. She drew me close when she shared her doubts, and she inspired me when her family refused to let this tragedy define or defeat them—truly believing that God is in control no matter how bitter the circumstances.

Back in May of this year, I wrote a music review of her husband’s recently released CD, Beauty Will Rise. This recording was also inspired by the tragic loss and as I listen now to the CD, I’ve discovered an unexpected bonus. I understand a little more of the background and the meaning of each song, (even the wording of each song) since reading the book, giving me a renewed appreciation for this particular CD.

To wrap it up: if you are looking for a book that you won’t soon forget, this is it.

And if you’re looking for a book that will inspire you to trust God in the worst of circumstances, this is it!

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