Feeds:
Posts
Comments

There is a common stigma that comes along with being a Christian. For some, if you consider yourself a believer, you may feel that you must always say yes and be willing to do anything for anyone. The idea of being a pushover has been associated with Christianity for a long time.

In truth, this idea is not only unhealthy, but also a direct contradiction to the Bible. Just by looking through the Bible, one can see that God Himself has set boundaries for His children. The Ten Commandments are a set of very strict boundaries that all Christians are directed to live by. So if the Creator set out boundaries for His children, shouldn’t we strive to set our own personal boundaries?

James Townsend and Henry Cloud believe that setting personal boundaries are key to a happy and successful life. Their popular book Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life is a great resource that shows people how to set healthy boundaries in their lives.

Finding what is comfortable and right in your life is the key to setting solid boundaries. Often times, people will allow anything to go on for fear of coming across as too uptight. On the other hand, there are some who set their limits so strictly that they often act judgmental and self-righteous.

Both Cloud and Townsend feel that people need to set clear and firm physical, mental, emotional and spiritual boundaries in their lives.

They argue that we not only need to set these boundaries, but also enforce them in our lives. If we stick to these, then we will be more comfortable with ourselves and those around us. The book also teaches us how to respond to people when they act negatively towards our new boundaries. They point out that we should respond the way Christ would have.

If you ever felt like you have no control over your life, then you probably need to set your own boundaries. Thankfully, Boundaries Henry Cloud is a great way to get started and find comfort in your life.

Advertisements

Originally I was turned off from this book because I had just read The Lovely Bones and I figured they would be surprisingly similar.

Also, I had heard numerous criticisms regarding William Young’s theological perspective.

But being one who will give any book a chance, I decided to give The Shack a shot.

Having read the book now, I am so happy that I did. This is a great story that will be buzzing around for years to come.

The story is about a man “meeting” God. Father Mackenzie Phillips takes his family on a vacation. To his horror, he learns that his daughter Missy has been abducted and later finds evidence that she may have been brutally murdered in a shack that is deep within the woods of Oregon.

For Mack, family issues ensue and his life seems to be falling apart.

Nearly four years after the incident, he receives a mysterious note, seemingly from God, that invites him back to the suspected place of his daughter’s murder. Battling the decision, he ultimately decides to go; what he finds will change everything.

This book asks the question, “Why me?” The answers provided will definitely make you think.

After reading this riveting book, I can now see why it is one of the most popular novels in recent memory.

It combines both heart wrenching drama and soul stirring spirituality in a way that keeps the reader hooked until the very end.

If you are looking for a great summer read that will also make you consider your own life, The Shack is a must have for your collection.

The Shack by William Young is a fantastic book to read and you will find it difficult to set down. Though some people have mentioned about the book’s theological speculation, it is without a doubt a thrilling read. Have fun reading and uncovering the mystery!

Love Dare Kendrick

Odds are, if you go to church, you’ve heard of The Love Dare by Alex and Stephen Kendrick. This book is a New York Times Bestseller and has been used in churches all around the country.

Now, if you haven’t heard of The Love Dare, here’s the story. The book itself originated in the movie Fireproof. The film looks at the crumbling marriage of a firefighter and his wife. Facing several addictions, the husband loses the respect of his wife. To win back her love, the husband uses a journal called the Love Dare to understand and practice unconditional love with his spouse. It’s a 40-day challenge that focuses on doing thoughtful things for your significant other.

And now, this tool is available for you to use in your life.

Being a guy, I know that I don’t always show that special woman in my life the attention she deserves.  Admittedly, I was shocked when I learned that by doing simple things, I could drastically improve my relationship.

I decided to take on the dare with my girlfriend and over the course  of just a few days, I felt like we were growing closer together AND growing in our relationship with God.

Without question, our relationship is so much stronger since we took on the dare. We listen and share with each other more and more each day, and showing our love for each other has become easier.

While the daily readings were inspirational, I found that going through each dare was what changed my relationship.

While one could consider a lot of this book to be common sense, it is important to be reminded of what it means to be in a meaningful relationship with someone. It’s critical that you never stop trying to make your relationship better.

If you feel that your marriage or relationship is struggling or just want to build on an already solid foundation, check out the Love Dare Kendrick and show your significant other how much you really care!

As a guy, I have certain views on what it means to be a man. I’ve always been taught that men are supposed to be strong, supportive and tough when it comes to handling life.

At times it seems that society values these traits, and others it seems as if being a man is a mark against you.

After hearing about it from a friend, I decided to check out John Eldredge’s book Wild at Heart. I was intrigued by the book’s byline of “Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul.”

For the longest time, I suffered from the stigma that being a Christian male, I had to be subdued and quiet. I felt that following God meant that I couldn’t live free and explore all that life had to offer. But after reading this book, I realized that I was dead wrong.

As Eldredge explains, man was created in the image of God. And God is certainly not boring and subdued. He is a fierce, passionate, and grabs hold of what He wants.

According to Eldredge, society has weakened the true spirit of a man.  He argues that men were designed to be wild and take on life’s challenges. By doing this, we are living up to the role that God designed for us.

Now, it is important to realize that Eldredge isn’t advocating a carefree lifestyle. He strongly points out that the only way for a man to be truly free is through Christ. Yet he always wants us to know that just because we are Christians, we do not have to be boring. We do not have to stop seeking adventure and excitement, because this is what God created us for.

It is rooted in a man’s soul to explore the unknown, and by doing this, we can not only grow in ourselves, but grow with God as well.

Eldredge points out that life is an adventure and we are the explorers. Life is full of danger and unpredictability, but God has given us the spirit to confront these challenges and tame the great beast known as life.

Since I read this book, I feel like I have begun to turn my life around and focus on living this life that God has given me to the fullest, and most importantly, to His glory.

Guys, if you feel bored or put down, grab a copy of Wild at Heart John Eldredge and let him show you how to unleash your inner spirit and chase after God’s adventurous life He has planned for you.

Do you sometimes feel like you can’t completely connect with your spouse? Do you have trouble communicating your wants and needs, as well as understanding the wants and needs of your significant other?

If so, you need to check out Dr. Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages. Dr. Chapman is a widely successful marriage counselor with over 30 years of experience. During this time, he determined that people communicate love in five different ways.

He refers to these 5 different means of communication as love languages, and stresses that each person is unique and has their own love language.

Through his studies, Dr. Chapman has discovered the following love languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.

Dr. Chapman believes one of the reasons for the collapse of marriages is that couples do not understand each other’s love languages. He argues that if one is willing to take the time to learn their partner’s language, it will not only make their marriage better, but also have a strong impact on other aspects of their lives.

For example, if your partner’s love language is that of Quality Time, then what they truly seek is to spend alone time with you. Their “love tank” is filled by doing activities together and strengthening a relationship by taking an active role in each other’s lives.

If your partner seeks Quality Time, then providing Acts of Service will not be completely beneficial to them. While such acts are important, they are not what your partner needs the most.

By discovering both you and your partner’s love languages, you will each be able to focus on the real needs of the other and help keep the strong connection between the two of you.

Whether you have been married for a long time or are newlyweds, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman is great for reaffirming your relationship. It also makes a great gift for the other couples in your life.

Life has a way of throwing curveballs our way. Just when things are going good, something happens and throws us off course. Sometimes we rebounded without effort. Others, we struggle to get back on our feet.

In the worse of cases, we occasionally fall into the pit. The pit is dark and depressing part of our lives. Sometimes, the pit can get so deep that we can’t even see the light anymore.

Fortunately, Beth Moore has been in that pit and found a way out, and is sharing her experiences with readers who are struggling with life’s obstacles.

Her newest book, Get Out Of That Pit is a helpful guide that will help you get out of your pit and any future pit you may descend into.

You may ask yourself, “How did she do it?” The answer is simple: God. Moore will be the first to tell you that she went through rough times in her life. No matter what she tried, she could never escape her own fears and failures. She simply didn’t have the power to do so.

Yet thankfully, Moore realized that there was one escape from her personal hell: the love of God’s grace.

At times, we stay in our own pits because we are unwilling to forgive ourselves for past mistakes. We hold onto the troubles that we’ve had instead of letting them go. For some, the pit becomes a place of acceptance because we grow accustomed to believing in our failures.

But Beth Moore grew tired of being ex-communicated from the world. She decided that God was the only way out and has shared her life changing experiences with readers around the world.

She also included a helpful study guide and several Scriptures to aid readers in their quest to restore their lives.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression and self doubt, check out Get Out of That Pit Beth Moore and learn how God can provide the rope to climb out of the deepest pit.

If you are a fan of Francis Chan, or have heard about his work, then you will definitely want to check out his newest book, Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit.

This book is a follow-up Crazy Love, and focuses the Holy Spirit, the third part of the Holy Trinity that Chan feels Christians often neglect. If you are like me, you may forget about the Holy Spirit sometimes. You may also be unsure to just what the Holy Spirit truly is.

As Chan describes, the Holy Spirit as the entity that Jesus promised to send as He ascended to Heaven. This Holy Spirit would guide us in our journey with Christ. Yet Chan argues that although we admire this Holy Spirit, we have often neglected its presence.

After I read this book, I felt like I had a greater sense of the Holy Spirit’s importance in my daily walk. Sure, I constantly had God and Jesus in my heart, yet I realized I had forgotten the third part of the Trinity.

Chan goes on to describe that the Holy Spirit is the entity that fills our soul during worship. It is the force that causes us to raise our hands, jump in the air, and sing at the top of our lungs in praise to Our Creator.

This is the spirit that Chan wants us to acknowledge.

One of the most stirring moments in Forgotten God occurs when Chan gives his thoughts on the state of the Holy Spirit in Christian life today:

From my perspective, the Holy Spirit is tragically neglected and, for all practical purposes, forgotten. While no evangelical would deny His existence, I’m willing to bet there are millions of churchgoers across America who cannot confidently say they have experienced His presence or action in their lives over the past year. And many of them do not believe they can.”

Chan has emerged as one of today’s best Christian leaders, and I feel the previous passage was just a small dose of the wisdom that God has bestowed upon him.

If you feel disconnected from the Holy Spirit, you must get a copy of Francis Chan Forgotten God.  It will help you grow in your spiritual journey and deepen your Christian faith.