Thursday, September 20, 2012

Unstoppable releasing soon

Once again I'm reminded of how powerful the message is that Nick Vujicic carries. His new book, UNSTOPPABLE is releasing in just a couple of weeks. If' you haven't had a chance to preview it yet, then you might want to check out these links:  (excerpt from chapter one)

And it's available for preorder now. I reviewed it back in July,

BTW, UTAH readers. Pray hard that Standing Together is successful in their attempt to have Nick come back to see us!

UNLEASH! the you that God wants you to be

Perry Noble, the pastor at a small (about 16,000 average attendance at 7 locations throughout South Carolina) southern church, has written a book, and it’s just what you would expect from Perry if you’ve listened to his sermons or podcasts or read his updates: “A letter from Pastor P to New Spring Church”.  UNLEASH! (Tyndale House, 2012) is down home wisdom, grounded in and backed by Scripture, about how to live the life that God intended us to live. A life that’s free from the restraints that hold so many of us back from the things that God has in store for us. A life that leaves normal in the dust as it sets out to embrace the power of the Holy Spirit.
            Most people have heard the story of King David, and Noble uses that as the focus of UNLEASH.  David may have done some great things in his life time, but he sure didn’t start out as a giant killer. When Samuel came looking for the future king that he was to anoint, David’s father didn’t even present him before the prophet. Samuel finally asks if there isn’t another son, and is told, yes, but he’s a nobody, a nothing, and he’s out tending the sheep.  God uses the strangest people to do the most wonderful things, and this book is full of examples of how every one of us is destined for greatness in God's eyes, and then there are some ideas about how to let God take us to that place.
Noble says that a lot depends on how we see God: “if He’s small, manageable and normal
 then our view of what He can do through us is going to be about the same, but if we realize how great He really is, then what we can do, through Christ who strengthens us” takes on a whole new meaning.
This book is a little bit autobiography, as the author shares a lot of the hurt and pain in his life; it’s a little bit memoir, as he shares personal stories, his and others, that explain how faith works in their lives. And it’s a lot of encouragement and love. It’s full of appropriate scriptures, and suddenly some of those things that we’ve always wondered about make sense.
If you’ve been wondering “is this all there is?” the answer is “no!”  and UNLEASH is the book that will help you figure out what your next step should be!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

It's Completely Possible

UNLEASH!, (Perry Noble, Tyndale House, 2012) is a book that's designed to help you shed the chains that are holding  you back from becoming the person that God intends for you to be. Perry Noble's book is available today in book stores, and unless you're waiting until Thursday to order it online, you might want to check it out.

Most people have some pretty unrealistic ideas of what their life in Christ can or should look like. UNLEASH debunks those myths.  Some of the gems:

“It’s completely possible to live a life beyond normal.”

“If our view of God is small and manageable and normal then we will have a small view of what He wants to do in and through us.” 

“We can live a life that is unleashed because of whose we are, not who we are.”

“One of the quickest ways to forget what God says about me is to focus on what the enemy says about me.”

“No matter what circumstances we face, they don’t change who God is. He is still God.” 

"Understand that information about Christ doesn't always lead to intimacy with Him.”

 Most of those things seem pretty obvious, but as human being we tend to forget them on a regular basis. Perry shares how some of these truths (and others) have helped him overcome the past that was holding him back, and tells the story in such a way that you think you're sitting down visiting with a friend instead of reading a book about your life in Christ. Read UNLEASH and discover what your next step towards intimacy with Christ needs to be. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

"UNLEASH!" and be free

If you read my blog, you know that I'm pretty lazy about blogging; and that most of my blogs are actually book reviews. I like to read and I've found some publishers that will send me books:I write a review, post it on Amazon or CBD, post it on my blog, send the links to the publisher, and ask for another book. I noticed today that I write a lot of positive reviews, hmmmm. But then it hit me, I ask for books that I want to read, books that sound interesting, that I've heard a lot of good stuff about, or that are new books by some of the authors on my preferred lists. Yep chances are that the reviews will be good.
Sometimes though, the books come from a different source. Like UNLEASH!. I read books and I read blogs. Perry Noble is a favorite blogger and he's written a book.  Perry sometimes thinks outside the box, and he and his team have come up with a neat way to get the book reviewed.I clicked on a link on his blog and a few days later his team sent a PDF along with some things that they would like reviewers to do in the days leading up to, and during the week that the book releases. I read the book. I like the book, and I think you will too. I'll post a review next week, but there's no reason you can't pre-order it now.  Go to the site,  or go to Amazon, or go to CBD,  and they'll be glad to help you out.

Perry is a no-holds barred kind of guy...what you see is what you get, and as he tells the story of King David, and how his life would have been so different if he hadn't been willing to UNLEASH!, he also shares how different his life is because he learned to unleash.
Many people are like high school Perry at the dance: (see Chapter 1, "Showing up at the Dance")

             "I talked about dancing. I thought about dancing. I watched other people dancing. Quite a few times
                              I almost had the courage to walk onto the dance floor and try dancing."

But there's so much  more waiting for us, if we're just willing to let go of everything that's holding us back:

          "When I take an honest look at my own life and the lives of the people around me, I have to wonder:                            
            are we doing the same thing when it comes to following Christ? Maybe we think about doing                      
           something  radical for God. Maybe we even dream that one day we’ll be more than we are today.
           But we end up merely standing against the wall, never experiencing the rhythm of God’s grace".

This book may just be the impetus for you to start dancing,  to do something radical for God.  All of us aren't called to kill a giant, but none of us are called to stand against the wall, just watching others dance.

Dare to UNLEASH! and see just how well you can dance!

Why settle for great? There's something called "greater"!

Steven Furtick’s Greater: Dream Bigger, Start Smaller, Ignite God's Vision for your Life (Multnomah Books, 2012) is one of those books that are hard to put down. Furtick demonstrates his skill at weaving scripture and current reality into a seamless whole. On one level this book is the story of Elisha, an Old Testament prophet who dared to dream big; and on the other it’s the story of any number of people that you already know, and maybe even yourself. In the words of the author it’s a challenge to live an audacious life.
It’s the reality that God is ready to take each of us to the next level, as long as we’re ready to go there. Just how small Elisha started is anybody’s guess: he was out with the oxen plowing a field. But he certainly dreamed big. Elijah said let’s go, and he went; and when Elijah, Israel’s greatest prophet was about to be taken, Elisha asked for nothing less than “a double portion of your spirit” (2 Kings 2:9), pretty gutsy request. Elisha know all about good enough, he knew all about great, but he also knew that with God's help there was something more: something called greater. And he wanted it.
But that sense of greater doesn’t just apply to Old Testament prophets, it’s something that each of us can go after; Furtick points us in the right direction, and gives us some hints on how to find it. In our church life, with our family or on the job, we can strive for and reach “greater”.
So get ready to burn your plows, dig some ditches, take just a little bit of oil, and see to what heights God can help you climb, as long as you’re not willing to settle for just good enough.
The author and the publisher have made some resources available for you: you can read the first chapter before buying the book.  and get more information about the book here:
I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Blessed Church : a review

“The Blessed Church” (WaterBrook Press, 2012). It’s the story of HOW the Gateway, the church Morris planted in the Dallas- Fort Worth area in 2000 has grown to a megachurch with multiple campuses. In short readable chapters, he explains WHAT he along with the staff and elder board have done, but, and this is an important part of my 5 star rating, WHY they did some of the things they’re done. The book is divided into 6 parts which include the story of Gateway, its vision, the role of the shepherd, empowering leaders, church government and the culture that makes Gateway the church that it has become. There’s very little here that hasn’t been said before in lots of leadership and church-growth books, but at least it’s the important stuff. These important tips are scattered throughout the text and called “Keys to a Blessed Church”
I admit that it’s sometimes difficult for me to get past the pages where someone claims that God is speaking directly to him. (My problem, not his). But in this case it appears that listening to that voice has certainly paid off. A couple of important take-aways include the need to take everything to the Lord in prayer, and be prepared to wait (and sometimes wait and wait some more) for an answer. There are some important tips on developing a vision and how a vision can help the church be what God intends it to be. And the one thing that made me sit up and take notice is this simple statement “God made us to want to bring increase.”   Morris continues with, “nevertheless, we pastors are made to feel that our dreams of broad reach and wide impact are somehow inappropriate.”
I was ready to dislike the book simply because of its title. Who are we to think that God should bless our church? But Morris shows how they have been blessed, not because they went out and did and did and did until God was forced to bless them, but how they have been blessed because they have tried to stay faithful to what God was calling them to do.
There are all sorts of excuses for not being a mega-church, but God blessed Adam and Eve and told them to be fruitful and multiply. He told Noah to be fruitful and increase in number. Jesus’ parable of the talents shows that the Christ follower is expected to increase the ‘harvest’.  Our churches are not called to sit back and be comfortable, we’re called to step out in faith, to follow God's leading and watch the kingdom grow. Morris explains what they looks and why we do it.
A great book for those who want to follow God's leading but without understanding “why” might have trouble with the “what” and the “how”.
 "I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review."