Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Goodness of God by Randy Alcorn

Subtitle: Assurance of Purpose in the Midst of Suffering

In this book best-selling author Randy Alcorn takes a close look at suffering and evil in light of God’s Word. Pain and suffering will strike us all, and the issues are complex, but by examining the nature of God and His Word we can prepare ourselves to face these difficulties knowing that God is in control and His purposes our higher than ours.

I found this book to be incredibly comforting to read. This is not a book filled with trite sayings and feel-good sentiments, but rather is filled with biblical truths the reader can use to prepare himself for tribulation. There are many powerful stories of how God has used difficult circumstances for good, and how those who lived through them grew in grace and their knowledge of God. These stories are real, and they don’t all have what this world would call a happy ending – and I like that. Real life is hard, and this book is a valuable resource for understanding suffering. I also appreciate that it is full of Scripture to encourage and exhort the reader.

This is a book I will keep in my library. I’m sure there will be dark days in my life when I will need to cling to the truths presented in it.

You can read the first chapter HERE.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pujols: More than the Game Book Review

By Scott Lamb and Tim Ellsworth

“At the end of the day as long as I glorify Him and those 45,000 people know who I represent out there every time I step out on the field, that’s what it’s about. It’s about representing God.” –Albert Pujols (p. II)

I think this quote very adequately describes both Albert Pujols and this book. It’s about glorifying God. From humble beginnings in the Dominican Republic to his meteoric rise to fame in the US, outstanding athletic ability, strong work ethic, and faith God make him one of the most easily likable celebrities of our day. This book covers it all.

I really love a biography that doesn’t just outline a person’s accomplishments but really digs deeper, revealing the person behind the image. This book delivers. Pujols is more than just an outstanding ball player – he is a man of integrity. While the authors cover the details of his rise to fame in baseball, they also cover his conversion, his devotion to his wife and kids, and what drives him most – his faith.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone, but particularly to people with teenage boys. I think this is the type of book that may help young adults see how to be a man of integrity in whatever they do, and that serving the Lord is the most important aspect of their life.

I must mention that I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Thomas Nelson’s BookSneeze program. That in no way influenced my opinion of it.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Always True by James MacDonald

Subtitle: God's 5 promises when life is hard.

Enter to win a copy of this book HERE. Giveaway ends 2/17/11 at 10PM.

In this encouraging book, Pastor James MacDonald opens the Bible and explores five of the great promises God has made to His people. These are promises that are true in every generation, and God is by nature a promise-keeper.

This book was written following some of the darkest times of the author’s life. This is not a preachy “here’s how you should feel” type book. This is an honest, heartfelt look at the hope that God has given us and the promises that He has made to help carry us through the trials of life.

This book is laid out in such a way that it is very easy to study and apply these promises to your life. Each promise is preceded by a section called “The Theology of a Promise,” where Pastor James opens God’s Word to help us better understand God and His nature. He then explores a promise of God. The promise chapters each end with a section called “Take to Heart” which summarizes the definition of the promise and offers practical ways to apply it in our life. There is also a memory verse to go along with each promise, allowing the reader to hide God’s Word in their heart and be able to bring it to mind when troubles come. This layout makes it an outstanding resource for preparing believers to face difficulties.

I was very moved by this book. I’ve been going through a very difficult time in my life, and this book was exactly what I needed to read. This book was written after Pastor James went through the darkest period of his life, and his personal perspective makes it very relatable and comforting to read.

These promises are real. It is so humbling and awe-inspiring to contemplate these promises. God, the Author and Creator of the universe, has made promises to us and we can know that He will always keep them.

A complimentary review copy of this book was provided to me by C. Grant & Company, but that in no way influenced my opinion of it.