Sunday, January 24, 2016

Review of HAPPINESS by Randy Alcorn

I've enjoyed Randy Alcorn's work ever since discovering his book Heaven in the wake of my grandfather dying several years ago. What I enjoy about Alcorn is his commitment to digging deep into the Scriptures and discovering what others often miss along the way. That's very much what reading Heaven felt like when I first read it.

In his latest book, Happiness, Alcorn tackles the question of whether or not God wants us to be happy. Christians are frequently taught that God cares more about our holiness than our happiness. Often, we're told to have joy instead of happiness, as if the two are completely separate things. With these teachings in mind, many Christians assume a life of grudging sacrifice is what God most wants for us. Happiness presents a God who not only desires our happiness but is himself infinitely happy.

Like Heaven, Happiness dives into the relevant Scripture passages to challenge the assumption that God isn't interested in our happiness. It turns out that God cares deeply about our happiness and fights for it every day.

Happiness is a game-changing book because it challenges something many of us have accepted as part of the Christian narrative for so long. Happiness is important. God is happy, and he wants to share and expand his happiness with us.

Review copy provided by the Tyndale Blog Network

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Review of THE HEAVEN PROMISE by Scot McKnight

Heaven has been a popular subject to write about in recent years. It seems there's this enduring hope that there's something beyond this life and beyond the brokenness we currently experience. In The Heaven Promise, Scot McKnight tackles some of the most asked questions people have about heaven and seeks to answer them with biblical insight.

Many people have developed serious misconceptions about what the Bible teaches about heaven, and McKnight's book seeks to tear away these misconceptions. Like Randy Alcorn's Heaven, McKnight tackles the relevant passages from Scripture to paint a picture of heaven that is often very different that what most people have come to understand.

I enjoyed the tone of this book and the hope that it gives for the biblical conception of heaven. My favorite book on the subject is Randy Alcorn's Heaven, but this a great addition to the conversation.

Review copy provided by Blogging for Books

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Review of FREEHAND FIGURE DRAWING FOR ILLUSTRATORS by David H. Ross

Drawing from a photo as a reference is difficult when you're first learning how to draw, but not as difficult as trying to create a drawing on paper from just your imagination. The proportions inevitably end up imperfect, and your drawing itself comes out looking nothing like you imagined. That's why Freehand Figure Drawing for Illustrators is such a helpful book.

This book helps you to develop the skills to draw any figure without reference and create drawings that come out just as you imagined them. After some foundational instruction on perspective in drawing, the author, David H. Ross, walks readers through several types of figure drawings, giving them the reference points to draw any figure from imagination.

If you want to learn how to draw from memory, Freehand Figure Drawing for Illustrators will help you to develop the skills you need.

Review copy provided Blogging for Books

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Review of THE STORY OF GOD'S LOVE FOR YOU by Sally Lloyd-Jones

I have loved reading the Jesus Storybook Bible to my children because it paints a clear and endearing picture of God and his pursuit of us in the life of Jesus. Now, Sally Lloyd-Jones repackages the text of the Jesus Storybook Bible for adults. 

What's great about Lloyd-Jones' writing is that the stories are beautifully told and cover key points in the entire biblical story. A common refrain of the book is that every story of the Bible whispers the name of Jesus. It's a fresh retelling of the redemptive story that is faithful to that story.

If you've never read anything by Lloyd-Jones, The Story of God's Love for You is a great introduction. If you have children, the Jesus Storybook Bible is just as great.

Review copy provided by Book Look Bloggers

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Review of H3 Leadership by Brad Lomenick

Brad Lomenick's new book, H3 Leadership, outlines twenty habits that he believes truly effective leaders need to adopt. They're all framed around three main habits of being humble, staying hungry, and always hustling. Lomenick was the president of Catalyst for a decade and wrote a previous book on leadership called The Catalyst Leader.

While I liked The Catalyst Leader, H3 Leadership is a great continuation of the principles discussed in the previous book. Lomenick believes leaders should be vulnerable, relentless learners, have a clear vision of where they want to be, and cognizant of the steps they need to take to get there. Those are the points that stuck out to me the most, though there are many more.

Lomenick has a lot of experience in the leadership realm, so if you're a leader in any capacity, H3 Leadership is bound to be a beneficial and practical read.

Review copy provided by Book Look Bloggers

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Review of THE COLSON WAY by Owen Strachan

Chuck Colson was an interesting man. After being involved in the Watergate scandal during the Nixon administration and serving time in prison for his involvement, Colson converted to Christianity and began bringing the gospel to prisoners with his Prison Fellowship ministry. Colson was known as a public figure who loved Jesus and communicated eloquently about the gospel message. I remember the first time I read his book How Then Shall We Live?, and it remains one of the most influential books I've ever read.

The Colson Way is a new book by Owen Strachan that aims to bring the insight and way of living out public faith of Colson to the attention of millennials, many of which have never heard of him. Strachan highlights the way in which Colson lived his faith out in the public square and encourages believers to follow in Colson's footsteps as they strive to impact the culture with the life-changing message of the gospel.

The Colson Way is a great reminder of the life of a man who made some serious mistakes and yet was graciously rescued by God and used greatly by him.

Review copy provided by BookLook Bloggers

Review of YOUR BLUEPRINT FOR LIFE by Michael Kendrick

Life is complicated, and becoming a Christian and committing yourself to living a life that's holy often makes it more complicated. To be fair, however, Christians often make it more complicated than it needs to be. God certainly wants much from us, but God also wants to empower us to live up to the potential he's placed in each of us. That's what Michael Kendrick's new book Your Blueprint for Life is all about. Kendrick digs into the Scriptures to help believers see a life that is meant to be in pursuit of loving God and loving others, and this is in the context of the life we've been given. This includes the specific ways God has designed each of us. We're gifted in specific ways by God, and we're meant to use our gifts to make a difference in the world.

Your Blueprint for Life is about being intentional about how we live our lives. Kendrick covers the key areas in our lives where we need biblical guidance the most. These are areas such as finances and careers.

We need to think ahead and plan to live the life God is offering us. Your Blueprint for Life is designed to help steer you in the right direction.

Review copy provided by BookLook Bloggers