Browse Category: Non Fiction

Review – Searching the Scriptures by Charles R. Swindoll

Book description

Are you getting the spiritual nourishment you need?

Optimal health requires optimal nutrition. The same is true spiritually speaking. Without sufficient and regular biblical nutrition, our inner lives begin to suffer the consequences. We become shallow and selfish, more demanding and less gentle, and quick to react impatiently, rashly, and angrily. These are telltale signs of inner malnutrition.

In Searching the Scriptures, respected Bible teacher Chuck Swindoll shows us how to dig deep into Scripture and uncover its profound truths for our lives. He outlines the principles of Bible study that will help you understand God’s Word, apply it, and communicate it clearly to those around you. Too many people try to go it alone, without a guide, for this life and the next. Chuck explains how we can fix our own spiritual meals, then invites us to feast on nourishing truths we can discover in God’s Word.

Review

Charles R. Swindoll is a respected teacher and Searching the Scriptures gives us another reason to listen to someone like Him. This book, according to Swindoll is the result of his love and interest in the Scriptures and the way he’s been developing an understanding of the truths inside them.

The first chapters start with a practical introduction about the Bible, its books, and some comments about why is important to have a clear picture of the Bible in order to share and present a defense of the Word of God.

Using words and concepts from the food and cooking world, Swindoll takes us though recipes and a walk through the kitchen to put into practice what we’ve learned in each chapter. There are exercises at the end of each lesson to give us the opportunity to read, meditate and apply our new understanding on different passages.

There’s a study method, or recipe, given by the author and that can be useful for everyone during our study time:

  1. Observation
  2. Interpretation
  3. Correlation
  4. Application

Conclusion

Searching the Scriptures can give a new or better understanding to those who want to dig deeper into God’s Word. Swindoll’s life is not only an example, but an evidence that his writings really do work.

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I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Review – The Essential Guide to Healing by Bill Johnson and Randy Clark

Book description

The Bible is full of accounts of miraculous healing. And God is moving as amazingly today as he was back then. Thousands are being healed all over the world–and his children are part of it. For the first time, premier renewal leaders Bill Johnson and Randy Clark team up to equip Christians to minister healing. Grounded from start to finish in Scripture, Johnson and Clark lay out the rich theological and historical foundation for healing in the church today.
Full of inspiring stories, this book offers practical, proven, step-by-step guidance to ministering healing, including how to — understand the authority of the believer in healing — create an atmosphere of faith — receive words of knowledge — implement the five-step model of healing prayer The ministry of healing is not reserved for a select few. God’s miraculous healing is part of the Good News–and every believer can become a conduit for his healing power.

First impressions

I’ve read a couple of books by Bill Johnson and it’s worth to say that he’s a great teacher. This is my second time reading Randy Clark and I think I just discovered another great teacher to follow.

Review

I bought this book a year ago, and after reading two chapters I dropped it and it stayed on my bookshelf for an entire year, until I knew I had to finish it someday. I’m not sure why I left this unfinished but I’m grateful I re-discovered it.

The book opens with testimonies from both authors and how were their experiences on healing in their personal lives and ministries. After this introduction Randy takes a couple of chapters to not only explain the importance and relevance of healing today but also to give a theology on healing for those who are a bit skeptical about the gifts of the Spirit being active and available today.

The middle of the book belongs to Johnson, who shares personal experiences about healing and the personal attitude as believers that we should have if we want to experience and get hold of the supernatural in our lives and churches. When reading Johnson’s part I felt challenged to look and ask for more and I thinks this is the intention, to don’t settle for less than the “normal” in the Spirit.

Finally, Randy takes the reins again to share a 5 step “model” (he says he doesn’t like that word) of prayer for healing, giving practical insight about the authority and power we have as believers.

Conclusion

I recommend this book to everyone. There’s no really a “type” of reader for this book, If you are a Christian, then you need to read this book. It’s practical, inspiring and a contains deep truths to be lived by every believer.

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Reseña – El poder del potencial de Ed Cole

Descripción del libro

Ed Cole nos revela secretos de los problemas diarios, que no permiten a las personas alcanzar su máximo potencial. ¡Ahora estas situaciones lo impulsarán hacia su mayor éxito! Este mensaje directo y desafiante incluye estas leyes secretas que le ayudarán a:

  • Fortalecer sus atributos positivos
  • Levantarse por encima de la injusticia y la crítica
  • Cambiar la tensión por la paz mental
  • Resolver los conflictos mentales y la culpabilidad
  • Convertir la ansiedad en motivación
  • Recobrar su visión, y renovar sus sueños
  • Abrir las puertas hacia un futuro exitoso

¡Descubra estos principios brillantes para que pueda cumplir su destino!

Primeras impresiones

Había escuchado de Ed Cole (Edwin Louis Cole) por algunos de sus libros, pero no fue hasta hace poco que me decidí a darle la oportunidad a sus enseñanzas y darme cuenta por experiencia propia si eran o no buenas e interesantes.

Reseña

El poder del potencial es un libro bastante corto y digerible. El autor usa la conocida historia de José para ilustrar y darle vida a sus enseñanzas, que están enfocadas en el potencial que todo asunto y circunstancia tiene en la vida y que depende de nosotros aprovecharlo y darle el enfoque correcto para sacar el mejor provecho.

Los héroes son hombres en quienes el valor se ha hecho visible. Los héroes son hombres ordinarios que actúan en un momento del tiempo, sobre una necesidad mayor que ellos mismos. p.25

Algo que caracteriza a Cole es la manera tan sencilla de compartir verdades profundas con palabras sencillas. Es fácil notar que todo lo que comparte lo dice en base a experiencia y sabiduría ganada a través de los años. Es como si estuvieras leyendo un libro con proverbios bastante útiles para la vida que además tienen un fundamento Bíblico.

Conclusión

El poder del potencial es un libro accesible para todo lector. Aunque Ed Cole es conocido como el autor más leído mundialmente en el tema de hombres, este es un libro que puede ser leído por hombres y mujeres por igual.

Calificación

¿Dónde lo compro?

Bible review – CSB Disciple’s Study Bible

Bible description

The CSB Disciple’s Study Bible guides an individual’s journey in following Jesus, by featuring discipleship themed study notes, as well as tools and resources that equip Christians to disciple others. Included is the Foundations 260 Reading Plan, featuring 260 concise daily readings with commentary from Pastor Robby Gallaty and ample page space to engage the text and journal via the H.E.A.R journaling method (Highlight-Explain-Apply-Respond). With additional articles on discipleship from the team at Replicate Ministries, The Disciple’s Study Bible will help foster engagement and practical application of God’s Word in the life of a disciple on a daily basis.

Features include:

  • Introduction to The CSB Disciple’s Study Bible and Foundations 260 (F260) Reading Plan by Pastor Robby Gallaty
  • Discipleship themed study notes
  • F260 Reading Plan with commentary and H.E.A.R journaling space
  • Discipleship articles from the team at Replicate Ministries
  • Book introductions featuring timelines, outlines, and contribution to the Bible
  • Center-column cross-references
  • Topical subheadings
  • Two-column text
  • Concordance
  • Smyth-sewn binding
  • Presentation Section
  • Full-color maps

The CSB Disciple’s Study Bible features the highly readable, highly reliable text of the Christian Standard Bible (CSB). The CSB stays as literal as possible to the Bible’s original meaning without sacrificing clarity, making it easier to engage with Scripture’s life-transforming message and to share it with others.

Review

There are some Bibles that are great for reading, others for journaling, but I found this one to be great for Bible study and application.
Pastor Robby Gallaty presents this Bible focused on discipleship, there are interesting study notes as with many other Study Bibles that cover half the pages, but this one also adds a practical reading plan and a guide for personal meditation on the Word. It takes you step by step to hear and apply God’s Word to your life.
This is a hardcover Bible, which may not be the best to handle, but it is resistant and it ensures a larger life time and the smyth-swen binding makes big Bibles like this one readable without damaging the pages or the spine.

Conclusion

This is a great Bible for personal use or to give as a gift, I’m pretty sure anyone that receive this Bible as a present will love it as it will help him in his relationship with God through His Word.
I received this book from B&H Publishing Group in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Bible Review – ESV ILLUMINATED BIBLE

Description

The ESV Illuminated Bible places the full ESV text alongside over 500 elegantly hand-lettered gold ink illustrations by renowned artist Dana Tanamachi. Printed on thick cream-colored paper, the Bible’s single-column text setting and wide margins provide generous space for additional notes, prayers, and designs—inviting readers to creatively engage with and reflect on the beauty of God’s Word.

  • 9-point, Lexicon
  • Black letter text
  • 2-color printing
  • 64 full-page, custom book opener illustrations
  • 50 full-page verse illustrations
  • 250+ hand-lettered margin verses
  • 100+ other illustrations throughout
  • Illustrated by Dana Tanamachi, whose work has been featured by Google, The Wall Street Journal, Random House, USPS, and Target
  • Thick, cream-colored paper
  • Wide margins
  • Single-column, paragraph format
  • Smyth-sewn binding
  • Packaging: Permanent Slipcase

First impresions

I heard about Bible illumination on a TV show, and how monks were in charge of copying and illuminating (illustrating) the Word, adding works of art that have survived through time. This new Bible has the same idea behind and it greatly executed.

Review

This Bible is a beautiful and amazing hardcover Bible that comes with a slipcase with the same golden decoration that the Bible cover. It feels resistant and because of the smyth-sewn binding you can be sure it will last many readings.

Each book is presented with amazing and unique illustrations that represent the theme of each book or a prominent passage from them.

Because this is also a journaling Bible, there’s enough room next to the text to write or to give a chance to your inner artist to create something, although you may not want to do it because of the epic feeling of keeping this just for reading.

Conclusion

This Bible will be a great addition to those who like to collect beautiful Bible editions, but it may also be for those who want to read God’s Word and feel inspired by the amazing artwork.

I received this book from Propeller Consulting, in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Review – The Father Effect by John Finch

Book description

Based on the feature film of the same name, THE FATHER EFFECT is a must-read for the millions of men and women who have lost their fathers through divorce, death, or disinterest.

John Finch always struggled after his father committed suicide when he was eleven, but it wasn’t until he was raising his own three daughters that he truly understood their futures relied on his coming to terms with his difficult past. To move forward, he needed to forgive both his father for choosing to leave, and himself for not being the best father he could be.

This journey led to THE FATHER EFFECT, a book containing practical help for anyone, man or woman, with a deep father wound from losing a dad through divorce, death, or disinterest. Through positive lessons on forgiveness and approachable advice on how to change your legacy as a parent, partner, and person, THE FATHER EFFECT is the ultimate healing tool for anyone who has suffered the absence of a dad.

First impressions

I picked this book with the hope to find useful information about this particular topic and see if I was missing something as a fatherless myself, and then share the information with those in need. After all the book cover says it offers hope and healing from a dad’s absence and that sounds pretty straight, right? Well, I was wrong.

Review

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing bad with the book content in itself, but it’s easy to see when you’re reading it that this is a very personal book, a very personal journey, John’s journey. The book starts with a letter written by John’s father, his last letter to his family. From there, John recounts his story through a difficult life without a father and how much time it took to him to realize something was wrong with the way he was living as a result of his father absence.

John’s testimony is powerful and without a doubt many will feel identified with his struggles, because they’re actually real and they have consequences, and many will benefit from the path and decisions John took to do something positive with his life. But there’s comes a point where the personal story keeps on growing and what just started as a simple testimony evolves into John’s detailed recording of his past life to his present reality where he’s married and a father of three daughters, and this is exactly the when the focus of the book shifts from hope and healing from a dad’s absence to practical advices from a father to your marriage and children.

There’s something John says about lacking fathers the that becomes quite the reality of the book: You can give what you don’t have. Because this is a personal journey, John only speaks from his point of view and cannot give more than what actually worked for him, for a married man with three daughters. I’m saying all this without bad intentions, but as a fatherless myself I didn’t feel this book was for me. Most of the information I found useful were long quotes by John Eldredge scattered through the book.

And just to confirm how personal this book was, the book finishes with a letter, this time by John to his father.

Conclusion

This book is for you if you are looking for an inspiring story ABOUT someone finding hope in difficult circumstances but if you’re looking for a more detailed book on HOW you can find hope and healing you need to look somewhere else.

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I received this book from Hachette Book Group in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Review – The Greatest Story Ever Told Journal by John C. Maxwell

Description

In 1976, John Maxwell was excited to receive a book as a gift. The title: The Greatest Story Ever Told. Imagine his shock when he opened it to find all the pages blank-except for a note from the giver that said, “John, your life is before you. Fill these pages with kind acts, good thoughts, and matters of your heart. Write a great story with your life.” This was John’s invitation to become proactive in writing his own life story. And it marked him. Now John extends that same offer to you and people you care about. It’s time to become intentional about writing your own story of significance. THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD is the perfect companion for every milestone:

  • Promotion
  • Graduation
  • Wedding
  • New Year

Begin writing your story today.

First impressions

I really, really, really like journals. I’m not sure where this love came from but I love getting new journals not only for the sake of, you know… using them. But also just for the sake of collecting them. This was a great chance since in this case this is a journal inspired by one of my favorite writers, John C. Maxwell.

Review

In reality there’s not so much to say about a journal, which is really a normal journal. The idea behind it comes from a gift Maxwell received and somehow changed the way he was living his life.

This journal has a handwritten note by Maxwell with many of the words used in the description above. An invitation to live with intention, an invitation to inspire others through words and deeds. There’s also a page dedicated to show the way you can start sharing your journey with others with specific steps.

The rest of the journal is composed by 247 lined pages ready for you to start writing your story. This is a hardcover journal, with a simple black cover with “THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD” legend printed in white letters. The “texture” you see in the picture is from the leather binding version. The one I got is different, I guess is because is a review copy.

Conclusion

If you love journals like me, this one is for you. It’s a good reminder of the great story each one of us is able to bring forth in our lives. This journal can definitely work as a gift and could be the push someone needs from you.

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I received this book from Hachette Book Group in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Review – Ordinary by Tony Medina

Book description

What if the path toward an extraordinary life is becoming more ordinary?Ordinary is not a call to be more radical. If anything, it is a call to the contrary. The kingdom of God isn’t coming with light shows, and shock and awe, but with lowly acts of service. Tony Merida wants to push back against sensationalism and “rock star Christianity,” and help people understand that they can make a powerful impact by practicing ordinary Christianity.

Through things such as humble acts of service, neighbor love, and hospitality, Christians can shake the foundations of the culture. In order to see things happen that have never happened before, Christians must to do what Christians have always done­. Christians need to become more ordinary.

Let’s think together about how we, ordinary people, doing ordinary things, might turn the world upside down.

First impressions

I chose this book for three main reasons. First, I needed a short book to read in order to complete my book reading challenge. Second, the cover looks awesome (with the book in my hands, feels awesome as well). And third, the subtitle of the book sounded really challenging and honest for us as Christians.

Content

I’m not sure how to describe Ordinary, I wouldn’t say I’m don’t agree with the principles presented here: loving involves action. The book focuses in specific areas where everyone could get involved, going from thing, like feeding the poor, to adopting a child.

The thing I didn’t like was the way Tony wanted to force this issue on the readers. It’s difficult to put it into words, but I think that while it was an extensive “to do” list for Christians, it lacked the “why”. And by this I mean the book never tried to explore the the reasons behind “why” we as Christians should behave in a certain way besides the “just because”.

I think true loving actions come from a heart that already is in tune with God’s heart and not from a list of requirements in order to be in tune with God’s heart.

Conclusion

From my initial list, Ordinary just filled my first two expectations. It was a short book and it looks awesome. It’s a good reading but maybe not what you’re expecting.

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