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Archive for the ‘books’ Category

It goes without saying that men and women are complex and completely different individuals when it comes to their wants and needs in this life. While some may often share the same goals or ideas, there is a certain emotional and mental level that must be reached for one to feel completely satisfied and appreciated.

One problem for couples is that they often have trouble communicating. Although they are committed to each other for life, it is sometimes difficult to know every want and need of your partner. Thankfully, renowned couple’s therapist and Christian pastor Emerson Eggerichs has put together a great book that describes one key thing that men and women need to feel complete in their marriage.

In Love and Respect, Eggerichs reveals that in relationships, men often need to feel respected while women need to feel loved. While this may seem like common sense to some, it is actually a common problem that develops in many marriages.

According to Eggerichs, couples will often go through cycles in their marriages. One of these cycles is the Crazy Cycle. During this time, all of life’s burdens begin to pile on a marriage and communication often breaks down.

To combat this, Eggerichs urges couples to work towards the Energizing Cycle. This is a period in which each spouse tries to accommodate the needs of the other in an effort to restore the broken connection.

In Eggerichs’ view, women need closeness, openness, understanding, peacemaking, loyalty and esteem, or COUPLES. In contrast, men often need CHAIRS, which stands for conquest, hierarchy, authority, insight, relationship and sexuality.

If each of these needs is met, then couples can move into the Reward Cycle. During this time, a couple feels refreshed and they are usually happier and more content with their spouse.

However, these are just a few of the steps that are needed to taken to ensure a solid and complete marriage. Certainly, your marriage will never be perfect, but this book can be a great benefit in the effort to strengthening your marriage.

If you are in need of a marital boost, pick up Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs. This book will show you how you can fulfill the needs of  your spouse and how to make your marriage work on a deeper level.

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OK, so I must admit, I’m not the biggest fan of romantic stories. Although I like to be romantic, reading stories about it are not usually my cup of tea.

However, I recently read a book that changed my perception of the genre entirely. Redeeming Love is a compelling and heart-tugging book by popular Christian author Francine Rivers.

While the guy in me normally tends to shy away from these types of books, I became intrigued after reading the synopsis of this book. I like western themed literature and this book is set out West during the gold rush. Not only that, but it is also based on the Biblical story of Hosea. So, eventually, I caved in and read it, and to my surprise, it was actually a very entertaining story.

For those who haven’t heard of the book, the story goes a little something like this. Redeeming Love follows the life of Angel, a troubled young woman who is sold into prostitution as a child. As one could imagine, her trials she experienced growing up turned her heart cold towards people, especially men. She is also a woman of zero faith, as she can’t see how God would allow this to happen to her if He truly existed.

However, God does exist and was looking out for her, as He sends Michael Hosea, a devout Christian, into her life. Although originally hesitant, Michael obeys God’s commands and convinces Angel to marry him. Eventually, she finds herself beginning to love Michael, but has trouble letting go of her past and runs away. Motivated by love, Michael sets out to reclaim his bride, but will Angel accept his love or return to her previous life?

If you want to know the answer, you have to read it yourself. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

Although I had my doubts, Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers actually proved to be a stellar read, one that is sure to strike the heart of even the most timid reader. If you want a great story and a solid message, look no further than this book.

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Within the literary world, there are certain authors whose names are synonymous with brilliant writing. One of these writers, C.S. Lewis, is not only a tremendous literary figure, but also happens to be one of my favorite authors.

While Lewis has a vast collection of powerful books, one of my all-time favorites is his 1942 classic The Screwtape Letters. Lewis not only provides his audience with a great story, but also manages to offer a stark look at the struggles that Christians face on a daily basis.

The plot of Screwtape is simple and easy to follow. Lewis gives us the story of two demons, Screwtape and Wormwood. Screwtape is an elder demon who specializes in tempting humans to stray from their Christian lives and commit sins. Wormwood is Screwtape’s nephew. Wormwood recently took on the position of tempter, and it is Screwtape’s job to train his nephew in the fine art of tempting.

Unfortunately, Wormwood begins to act like a typical youth and wants to do things his way. While his uncle prefers to have his subjects suffer a slow, gradual fall, Wormwood wants to do it big. When he gets his first subject, a human only referred to as the Patient, Wormwood tries to make his human commit big, flashy sins.

One of the best parts of this book is the way Lewis presents the story. Instead of a straight narrative, the story is told in a series of letters between Screwtape and Wormwood. Personally, I liked this method of storytelling because it read more like a personal journal rather than a normal book.

Within the story itself, Lewis brings to light several of the temptations that Christians face in their lives, particularly those of sex, pride, war, love and gluttony. He also makes several observations about human beings in general, and presents these issues and more within the context of the narrative.

Without question, this is one of my favorite C.S. Lewis books, and it is one that is still very relevant to our culture today, despite the fact that it was written over 60 years ago.

If you are looking for a thought-provoking and entertaining read, check out Screwtape Letters CS Lewis today and see why he is one of the greatest writers in history.

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Wondering leaves a person in indecision, and indecision causes confusion. Wondering, indecision and confusion prevent an individual from receiving from God, by faith, the answer to his prayer or need.

Does that passage have the same affect on you that it did to me? I never realized how much my own thoughts and worries kept me from hearing God’s voice in my life.

According to Joyce Meyer in her book Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind, our attitudes and mindset have a lot to do with how we live our lives.

Meyer wants to us to understand that Satan is constantly battling with God for control over our thoughts and mindsets, and that by allowing negativity and bad thoughts in, we are letting Satan gain a stronghold within out minds. Thoughts that create depression, worry, and disapproval are common strongholds on our mind, but we need to do something about them.

Thankfully, we have a perfect resource for overcoming these bad thoughts: God. Using Biblical passages, Meyer shows us that with God’s help, we are able to overcome any negativity that comes up in our lives. However, we must be willing to let go of our pains and allow God to come into our lives and heal our minds.

While there is nothing we can do to stop bad thoughts from entering our minds, we do have control on how long these thoughts stay there. Life is very tough, and when bad things happen, it is natural to develop depressing thoughts. It isn’t a sin, but rather a part of human nature.

The problem occurs when we do nothing to rid ourselves of these thoughts. Letting them remain in our lives not only causes us anguish, but also takes us away from fully following God.

If you are struggling with negativity and bad thoughts, pick up Joyce Meyer Battlefield of the Mind and let her show you how to cleanse your thoughts with God’s healing.

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While I read Blue Like Jazz, one of the main things that I connected with was Donald Miller’s personality. Miller will be the first to tell you that he is not perfect, nor does he had all the answers to life’s questions.

If anything, Miller is the embodiment of the human spirit. Fun loving and entertaining, he provides his readers with an honest and in-depth look at his life and the experiences that made him who he is today.

In this book, Miller also wants to introduce readers into what he calls Christian spirituality. Ironically enough, Miller isn’t quite sure what Christian spirituality is, but he knows that his experiences have led him to that place.

While I wouldn’t put Miller in charge of a church, I truly feel that he is onto something in his observations on life. Without question, he is the kind of guy who would be fun to hang out with, but not someone I would follow religiously.

Miller’s unique style of writing has taken the shape of an autobiography, but is filled with Christian messages that all point to one solid truth: we all need Jesus Christ in our lives.

Where most authors might shy away from certain topics, Miller lets his feelings loose in telling what he thinks is wrong with both American society and churches alike. I found myself agreeing with many of the things Miller brought up, and I really appreciated his willingness to take shots at himself as well.

Now, some people will undoubtedly be put off by Miller’s book, and he will be the first to tell you that it isn’t for everyone. Older audiences will have trouble agreeing with Miller’s theology while the younger generation may view him as a modern day prophet.

But for those with an open mind, this is one entertaining and thought-provoking book. If you are willing to see a different perspective on life, get Donald Miller Blue Like Jazz and see for yourself.

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Recently, I set down and read bestselling author Andy Andrew’s latest book, The Noticer.

The setting of this book is a small town called Orange Beach, Alabama. While this little town is relatively simple, its citizens have their share of every day problems. There are crumbling marriages. Businesses are losing money and face having to shut down. And despite having their entire life in front of them, many of the town’s youth are starting to give up on their future.

One of these troubled citizens is 23 year old Andy. Andy is homeless and very down on his luck. Fortunately, God has sent a messenger that will change not only Andy’s life, but the entire town as well.

This messenger is named Jones. While many in the town originally see an old man with a ragged suitcase, blue jeans and a t-shirt, they soon discover that he has come to bring a little perspective to this struggling town.

During his stay, Jones offers several important thoughts for the town to consider. One of the most touching is “Don’t squander your words or your thoughts. Consider even the simplest action you take, for your lives matter beyond measure…and they matter forever.”

When I read this, I was immediately floored by both its simplicity and its depth. Sometimes it is easy to forget that even the smallest comment can completely change someone’s day. One little act of kindness can turn one’s horrible day around and help them make it through a rough time.

Throughout the story, we see Jones helping several people in the town with their issues, all while giving them a new outlook on life and how they can change their lives for the better.

Without question, this book will give readers something to consider within their own lives. It is clear to see that if we all had Jones’ outlook on life, our world could be a much better place.

I strongly recommend that you check out The Noticer by Andy Andrews and gain a little perspective on your own life.

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Since the dawn of Christianity, one question has plagued both believers and skeptics alike: Is there truly a Heaven? If so, what is this magical place truly like? Unfortunately, there is only one way to find out the answer to this question, and no one has lived to answer it. Sure, there have been some who have claimed to have seen Heaven, but there is no concrete proof to their claims.

Fortunately, one man has taken the time to put together all that is known about Heaven and has put together a great book that answers many of our questions about eternity. In Heaven, Randy Alcorn uses information exclusively from the Bible to look at what God has told us about Heaven.

This book is an amazing read that answered tons of questions I had about God’s Kingdom. Heaven is broken down into 3 sections: the Theology of Heaven, a questions and answers section, and Living in the Light of Heaven.

Each section focuses on the results of Alcorn’s years of Biblical research into the issue of Heaven. Throughout the book, Alcorn tackles the tough questions, including: What will we do in Heaven? Will we see family and friends? Will we have physical bodies, or will our souls just float around?

I really liked how Alcorn brought up the idea that the Heaven that exists now is just temporary and that after Christ’s return, God will create a new Earth for His children to inhabit. For those that doubt the existence of Heaven, one should look no further than the first paragraph of Alcorn’s book. The passage is from John 14:1-3.

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

Jesus’ own words show that Heaven must exist, and Alcorn himself encourages those who find his observations incorrect to test his writings against Scripture.

If you have ever wondered about Heaven, I highly suggest you get a copy of this incredible book. Heaven by Randy Alcorn is a refreshing and eye-opening read that will leave you more confident in the joys of eternity.

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