Thursday, January 21, 2016

Sandcastle Kings by Rich Wilkerson Jr.

Sandcastle Kings: Meeting Jesus in a Spiritually Bankrupt World by Rich Wilkerson Jr. discusses the futility of building one's life on anything but Jesus Christ. Using four characters found in Luke 7, Wilkerson discusses the problems with building one's life on the things of this world such as relationships, money, power, fame, or even religion.

Before reading this book, I knew enough about Wilkerson to be interested, but not enough to know for sure if he and his message were something I could get behind. Sandcastle Kings removed any doubt that Wilkerson is a man whose faith is relatable while not compromising any element of the Gospel. This book is filled with scripture and everything points back to Christ. While not a deep theological treatise, Sandcastle Kings is full of solid theology applied in a way that is both encouraging for the long time believer, and easily accessible for those just checking things out.

I like this understated design of this book. It's easy to read and fits with the message that the point is Jesus, not anything else. I'd recommend Sandcastle Kings to anyone interested in the message of Christianity on any level. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to more from Wilkerson.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookLook book review bloggers program. 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

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

(Un)Qualified by Steven Furtick


(Un)Qualified: How God Uses Broken People to Do Big Things by Steven Furtick is a book about exactly what it sounds like - how God uses the broken parts of His people to accomplish His goals. As God's people, we should embrace our broken parts, not because we aren't seeking wholeness, but because it's through the brokenness that God brings about wholeness.

Those who have read Crash the Chatterbox by Furtick (which I review here) will find familiar themes in (Un)Qualified. Using personal stories, as well as examples from people found in scripture, Furtick highlights the importance of what he calls "the third word." This is the word that we use to describe ourselves when we say "I am ___." I am brave. I am stupid. I am....whatever third word we use has the power to shape how we see ourselves and how we interact with the world. Furtick challenges his readers to examine their third words in light of what God's third words about them.

Those who struggle with seeing past their faults will benefit from this book, especially those who are believers. Accepting God's third words about us is vital to our identity as believers. Furtick's style is conversational and easy to read. (Un)Qualified is slightly redundant; however, for those in the midst of this particular struggle, I think repetition of the truth is key to victory, so in this case, redundancy isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Blogging for Books provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review. 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




Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Waiting Here for You by Louie Giglio

Waiting Here for You by Louie Giglio is an Advent book. Starting on November 26 and going through Christmas Eve, there is a short reading for each day. Most days include a passage of scripture, song lyrics or a poem, and a prayer. Some days just have a short prayer to allow for more time for meditation and reflection. 

Giglio does a good job of matching the scripture, song/poem, and prayer for each day. They tie together very well and provide a good reflection point for each day. The aesthetics of the book are beautiful. The black and white photos lend to the sense of hopeful waiting that the entries cultivate. 

This was the first Advent guide of any kind that I've ever used. It was a good experience, and something I'd like to do again in the future. I'd recommend Waiting Here for You for those who are new to doing anything for Advent, and to those investigating Christianity. Stopping and taking a moment to slow down helps one to focus on the true meaning of the Christmas season. 

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookLook book review bloggers program. 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