Showing posts from August, 2019

8 Hours or Less: Writing Faithful Sermons Faster (Review)

8 Hours or Less: Writing faithful sermons faster by Ryan Huguley.

I have read many books on preaching. Pastor Huguley does a nice job. One takeaway from this book is that Ryan has a small team of people who he bounces his points that need illustration. His small group of people offers many ideas that have been helpful.

This book is published in 2017 by Moody Press, 148 pages, 7 chapters. Ryan argues that his method will help pastors spend more time pastoring and less time studying. I liked and follow many of his points. Chapter three has a hilarious illustration of a weightlifter. Check that out. For me, I find I need to spend about 15-20 hours on a message. Preach every 3-4 weeks and I think I still haven't hit my stride in preparation.

If you've never taken the L, trust me when I say that it's functional but no fun at all. It smells sort of like a urinal and feels like a cage. p. 19 So if Christ isn't in our sermons, we aren't preaching faithful ones. p. 27K…

All the Light we Can not See by Anthony Doer (Review)

All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel by Anthony Doerr. This Pulitzer Prize-winning book is masterfully done. The author begins with a sixteen-year-old blind French girl on the upper story of a tall house on the sea on the edge of France. It is August 1944, and she hears planes headed her way. A piece of paper with the smell of gasoline in the window, an empty house. The author jumps to a young eighteen-year-old German private moving through an old hotel as the 88 artillery guns aim their 22.5-pound rounds at the fast-approaching ally targets from that same city. Back and forth, the author goes weaving a tale in and out of time connecting the dots. As a reader, I was held in suspense, reminded of the horrors of war, and yearning for relief for the characters.

This 500-page book has at this time over 28,000 reviews on Amazon with over 4.5 stars. There is some swearing and graphic violence. However, in war, you would expect that. I would want my kids to be 16 or older to read this book. …

Opening Doors on Acts 14 (Sermon)

Hi, I am pastor Rob, and it is a pleasure to be with you today! Could I have the children 9 and under come up to the front, please? I want your help. What is this? (A: Doorknob) What is this? (A: Key) What is this? (A: Screwdriver) What is this? (A Shoe) What is this? (A: Crowbar) What is this? (A: Ramming tool to break down walls or an ax) Let me tell you a story. I live in an older house. One of my brothers came out and visited with his family a few years back. He and his wife and two kids were having a wonderful time until his daughter had to go to the bathroom. She was maybe three and a spitfire. She closed the door. After a while, we heard a knocking, if I remember correctly. She was trying to come out. She called for help. We turned the knob it wouldn’t open. She had locked the door. We didn’t have a key. We tried to tell her how to open the door. She couldn’t figure it out. What were we going to do? Would we have to break down the door? We could try to kick the door down or us…

Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow (Review)

Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow. 

This is what Amazon says, "A gripping portrait of the first president of the United States from the author of Alexander Hamilton, the New York Times bestselling biography that inspired the musical.

Celebrated biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation and the first president of the United States. With a breadth and depth matched by no other one volume biography of George Washington, this crisply paced narrative carries the reader through his adventurous early years, his heroic exploits with the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, his presiding over the Constitutional Convention, and his magnificent performance as America's first president. In this groundbreaking work, based on massive research, Chernow shatters forever the stereotype of George Washington as a stolid, unemotional figure and brings to vivid life a dashing, passionate man of fiery opinions and many moods.

Winner of the 2011 Pu…

Berit Olam: 2 Samuel (Free eBook) Commentary

Logos is giving away a bonus eBook this month! 
Berit Olam: 2 Samuel by Craig E. Morrison.

Amazon writes about this commentary,
"King David ranks among the most intriguing persons in the Hebrew Bible. The Second Book of Samuel tells the story of David's kingship-his public successes and his private foibles. The narrator's rehearsal of this story, as questioning as it is vivid, glimpses the secrets of David's heart. In this commentary, Craig E. Morrison focuses on the aesthetics of the "art of the telling": how does the narrator succeed in breathing life into his portrait of David? How does he draw the reader into his story? This commentary is intended to accompany the reader's encounter with this ancient masterpiece so that one might cheer with David as he dances before the ark of God and weep with him as he grieves the death of his rebel son Absalom. Morrison's careful reading of 2 Samuel brings the reader face-to-face with David, whose multifaceted …

Purification (Valley of Vision)

I love the prayers compiled by Arthur Bennett called The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions.

I sin — Grant that I may
    never cease grieving because of it,
    never be content with myself,
    never think I can reach a point of perfection.
Kill my envy, command my tongue,
  trample down self.
Give me grace to be holy, kind, gentle, pure,
    to live for thee and not for self,
    to copy thy words, acts, spirit,
    to be transformed into thy likeness,
    to be consecrated wholly to thee,
    to live entirely to thy glory.
Deliver me from attachment to things unclean,
  from wrong associations,
  from the predominance of evil passions,
  from the sugar of sin as well as its gall,
  that with self-loathing, deep contrition,
    earnest heart searching
  I may come to thee, cast myself on thee,
    trust in thee, cry to thee,
    be delivered by thee.
O God, the Eternal All, help me to know that
  all things are shadows, but th…

Titus For You

Titus for You: For Reading, for Feeding, for Leading (God's Word for You) by Tim Chester is free this month from the Good Book Company.

This is what they are saying about the book:

Join Tim Chester for the latest in the groundbreaking, bestselling God's Word For You book. Titus For You will help you get to grips with this short, powerful letter, showing how it transforms our hearts and lives today. Tim Chester's renowned gifts for making the complex clear, the truth applied and the gospel shine brightly mean this book will take you to the pages of the Bible to engage your mind and stir your heart. Written for people of every age and stage, from new believers to pastors and teachers, this flexible resource is for you to: - READ: As a guide to this wonderful letter, exciting and equipping you to live out the truth in your life.
- FEED: As a daily devotional to help you grow in Christ as you read and meditate on this portion of God's word.
- LEAD: As notes to aid you in explain…

Name Above All Names (Free eBook from Faith Life)

Name above All Names (eBook) by Alistair Begg & Sinclair Ferguson is free in the month of August from Faith Life Books.

Here is what they are saying about this book:

“No biblical or theological subject captivates my heart and stimulates my mind more than the glory of Christ. One day every knee with bow at the mention of His name. If you want to understand why (and have your own heart humbled, filled with gratitude, and aroused to worship), nourish your soul with this simple yet profound overview of who Jesus is and what He has accomplished.”
―John MacArthur, Pastor, Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, California; President, The Master's University and Seminary “As Christians, we find it easy to talk about God’s work in our communities and around the world. It’s easy to describe our growth in Christ and what we are learning from him. But how many of us simply delight in talking about Jesus? The art of contemplating the loveliness of Christ―and infusing those admirations into ev…

SIMPLY TUESDAY (Free Audio book)

Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World by Emily Freeman is free in the month of August. Below is the plug for the book from Amazon.

"Is your soul being held hostage by hustle?

If you've grown weary of do more and dream bigger, small-moment living is just what you need. Real life happens in the small moments we find on the most ordinary day of the week. Tuesday holds secrets we can't see in a hurry--secrets not just for our schedules but for our souls. In Simply Tuesday, Emily P. Freeman shows you how to

· embrace today's work
· find contentment in the now
· replace competition with connection
· learn to breathe in a breathless world

It's time to release our obsession with building a life, and believe in the life Christ is building within us--one simple Tuesday at a time."

Get it here free in the month of August. 

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God’s Kingdom through God’s Covenants: A Concise Biblical Theology (Logos Free eBook)

God's Kingdom Through God's Covenants: A Concise Biblical Theology by Peter Gentry and Stephen Wellum.

From the Logos website: "In this abridgement of the groundbreaking book Kingdom through Covenant, a biblical scholar and a theologian offer readers an accessible overview of the overarching structure of the Bible. Tracing the significance of the concept of “covenant” through both the Old and New Testaments, this book charts a middle way between covenant theology and dispensationalism—exploring the covenantal framework undergirding the history of redemption."

Thomas Schreiner says, “Gentry and Wellum offer a third way, a via media, between covenant theology and dispensationalism, arguing that both of these theological systems are not informed sufficiently by biblical theology. Certainly we cannot understand the Scriptures without comprehending ‘the whole counsel of God,’ and here we find incisive exegesis and biblical theology at its best. This book is a must-read an…