Greetings, Readers!

Looking for something good to read? Well, you’ve come to the right place! I love reading, book lists, and recommending great books to others. Please accept my humble reviews and recommendations of Christian, Classic, and Children’s books. Check out my lists of “Books Every Christian Should Read,” and feel free to comment on my articles and to offer some of your own recommendations!

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Remembering Easter All Year Round

The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel The Main Thing by C. J. Mahaney

crosscenteredlife“All around us we see Christians and churches relaxing their grasp on the gospel, fumbling it, and in danger of letting it drop from their hands altogether.” – John Stott

It occurred to me that this book review is quite timely as the season of Easter is upon us. While thoughts turn to Christ’s death and resurrection during this time of year, for some it’s a subject they rarely think seriously about during the rest of the year. Pastor C. J. Mahaney wrote this little book to remind Christians that the Gospel isn’t just a one-time message to bring us to faith in Christ and salvation. It’s a message to live by daily, to take us joyfully and steadily through this life and into the next. Yes, we need to share the Good News with unbelievers that Jesus died to save sinners. But after being saved, we need to continue to “preach the gospel to ourselves,” as Jerry Bridges says. Continue reading

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No one is Ordinary who serves an Extraordinary God

GodoftheMundaneThe God Of The Mundane: Reflections on Ordinary Life for Ordinary People by Matthew Redmond

“We are not saved from mediocrity and obscurity, the ordinary and the mundane. We are saved in the midst of it. We are not redeemed from the mundane. We are redeemed from the slavery of thinking our mundane life is not enough.”

The teaser on the back of this book says,

This is a book about pastors, plumbers, dental hygienists, and stay-at-home moms. It finds grace and mercy in chicken fingers, smiles from strangers, and classic films, and ultimately convicts us of something Matt Redmond has learned himself: there is a God of the mundane, and it’s not about what we do for him. It’s about what he does for us.

A Christian sister once asked me this question: “When the disciples cast lots for a disciple to replace Judas, it fell on Matthias. We don’t hear anything about him afterwards. Why do you believe that is?” After thinking about this for a moment, this was my reply: Think about this: Most of the original 12 disciples are not mentioned much outside of the Gospels. What do we hear about Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, Thaddeus? Most of them didn’t go on missionary journeys or write letters that have been included in our Scriptures. We don’t really know what they did after Christ’s ascension, but we can probably assume that they plugged into a local church where they served and taught while working at a mundane, secular job, just like the typical Christian man does now Continue reading

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Fresh Views of God from Voices of the Past

ValleyofVision-BookcoverThe Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions by Arthur Bennett

“The soul learns to pray by praying; for prayer is communion with a transcendent and immanent God who on the ground of his nature and attributes calls forth all the powers of the redeemed soul in acts of total adoration and dedication.”

The Valley of Vision is a collection of prayers, 195 in all, compiled by Arthur Bennett from various men from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, including John Bunyan, Thomas Watson, David Brainerd, Isaac Watts, Augustus Toplady, Philip Doddridge, and Charles Spurgeon, as well as others. These short, devotional, poetic prayers are a wonderful way to start and/or end each day. They would serve well for private, personal devotions and meditation, or for family worship. Continue reading

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Learning to Love God’s Way

equippedtolovenewEquipped to Love: Building Idolatry-Free Relationships by Norm Wakefield

“Every relationship is an opportunity to love, and every situation is an opportunity to trust.”

In honor of it being Valentine’s Day week, I thought I would repost my review of this excellent book. No matter how much we love someone, it’s hard to always love them the way we ought to. And we can never love others perfectly as God loves.

John Calvin is quoted as stating, “Our hearts are idol factories.” An idol is something or someone to which we look to supply what only God can supply. From the day we are born, we naturally seek to have our needs and our desires met, when and how we want them to be. Before knowing God, we only know to look to our parents and our surroundings to make us feel satisfied, happy, and secure. Without realizing it, we have begun the process of manufacturing idols in our life, controlling and manipulating others around us in order to get what we want. Of course no one but God can completely and perfectly meet our every need, so inevitably we become frustrated, dissatisfied, disappointed, or resentful. Eventually we turn to new idols, but mostly we make an idol out of Self – depending on our own wisdom, strength, etc. to get what we want for ourselves.

Continue reading

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God in Three Persons, Blessed Trinity

ForgottenTrinityThe Forgotten Trinity by Dr. James R. White

“To know Christ truly is to know the Trinity, for God has not revealed himself in such a way as to allow us to have true and balanced knowledge of the Father outside of such knowledge of the Son, all of which comes to us through the Spirit…We must know, understand, and love the Trinity to be fully and completely Christian.”

The Trinity: possibly the most difficult concept of all the orthodox Christian doctrines. You have likely heard one or more of these explanations of the Trinity:

  • The Trinity is like an egg, which consists of the shell, the white, and the yolk.
  • The Trinity is like water, which can exist as ice, liquid, and steam.
  • The Trinity is like a man who is simultaneously a father, a son, and a husband.
  • The Trinity is like an equilateral triangle.

Continue reading

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Resolving to Kill Sin, Part Two: The How of Mortification

 Do you mortify; do you make it your daily work; be always at it whilst you live; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin, or it will be killing you. Your being dead with Christ virtually, your being quickened with him, will not excuse you from this work. – John Owen

In Part One of this article, I encouraged you to make it a goal for yourself in the new year to begin putting sin to death, and I introduced you to John Owen’s seminal work, The Mortification of Sin. Romans 8:13 is Owen’s key verse: “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death (mortify) the deeds of the body, you will live” (New King James). He began by defining what it means to mortify, or put to death, sin, and why it’s the duty of every Christian to do so. He pointed out that only true believers can engage in the work of mortifying sin, because an unconverted person who has not been given a new nature or the Holy Spirit, can never make himself righteous.

Next Owen goes on to offer practical ways of dealing with sin in one’s life. He states that mortifying a specific sin involves three things: Continue reading

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