Friday, June 08, 2012

Book Review: Our Last Great Hope by Ronnie Floyd

To be honest, unless you're a Southern Baptist, you will have to play a little "catch up" to understand where this book originated.  It is a natural overflow of what Ronnie Floyd learned as he chaired the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force for the Southern Baptist Convention.

Simply put, this book is about the Great Commission and how to reach people with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ronnie pulls no punches, venturing into every area of our lives - family, finances, and our churches.  It is obvious that Floyd is passionate, I mean really passionate about the Great Commission.

While much of the book is practical, I do have one complaint.  Without meaning to, Ronnie seems to give the impression that he and his have it together when it comes to the Great Commission.  He tends to use himself as an illustration more than he probably should.  He even goes so far as to describe his office and its decorations which help inspire him to have a heart for the world (pages 23-28).

I tend to think that this book will be more interesting to pastors than layman.  I don't see too many average Christians picking it up and reading it.  Of course, that's the problem I guess.  We really do need an awakening to the Great Commission!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com 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 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Book Review: First Time Dad

How I wish I had had a book like this before my first son arrived. I'm sure I read books on parenting and fathering, but I still was not really prepared for just how much my (our) life was about to change!

John Fuller, the author, is most qualified to write about this life changing topic. He's a father of six and is the co-host of the Focus on the Family radio broadcast. Rest assured that the book is written from a Christian viewpoint.

I was interested in this book because as a Pastor I always try to put something in the hands of new parents to help prepare them for the adjustment that is coming. First Time Dad fits the bill perfectly.

The book is not just about having a baby and the changes that it brings, John goes much further in discussing the role of fatherhood, the importance of marriage, and the differences between girls and boys, just to name a few.

In all honesty, the title of the book may not do it justice. At the time of this writing I have a 6 and 4 year old, yet I found the content of the book very interesting and helpful even at this stage of the game.

With only 168 pages the book is small enough for even a non-reader to tackle. I've found that expectant dads are interested in this kind of stuff even if they aren't huge readers. This would make a great gift for yourself or someone you love.

Thanks to C. Grant & Company for the copy to review and another to share! I gave it to an expectant Dad at our church; he seemed quite grateful.

Happy Fathering!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Prayer and/or Human Effort?

Charles Spurgeon said a mouthful with this sentence:

"Though effort without prayer would be presumption, prayer without effort is mockery."

Ah, there's one of the great challenges in life and ministry - balancing prayer and human effort!

This reminds me of another famous quotation (attributed to quite a few different folks?), "Pray as if everything depended upon God, work as if everything depended upon man."

There's that struggle again - God's part and man's part.

In reality, I have to pray, and I have to work. So how do I balance all of this?

I think the key is to pray before, during, and after my work!

Praying before starting helps me to examine motives, get clarity, clear direction, and the reason for doing the work in the first place.

Praying during my work helps me to keep my focus right. I'm supposed to be doing this (and everything else) for God's Glory! 1 Corinthians 10:31 Pausing to pray throughout a project reminds me that I am not able nor capable on my own to complete this task. My very breath and strength are gifts from His hands.

Praying after the work is completed helps to ensure that all glory goes to Him, not me. It allows me to see where I have succeeded in glorifying Him, as well as areas where I could have done better. It allows me to praise Him for the successes, and to comfort me in my failures. I can bring any problems, frustrations and struggles to Him.

I guess I could summarize this post very simply with a verse of Scripture - 1 Thessalonians 5:17, "Pray without ceasing."

Nuff said.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Things To Give Your Family

While planning and preparing for a sermon on the family, I came up with an acrostic. I didn't end up using it in the message, but I felt it was worth sharing anyway.

These are things that you can give to your family:

F orgiveness
A ffection
M anners
I nterest
L aughter
Y ourself

Let's think about each one of them individually.

Are you holding anything against a family member? Did they do something? Not do something? Hurt you in someway? Go ahead and forgive them. Don't hold grudges - they lead to ulcers, headaches, and heartaches! Christian, aren't you glad that God forgave you? Forgive others!

Sure, you love your family! But do you ever tell them? Do you ever show them? When's the last time you hugged your child? When's the last time you held your spouse's hand? When's the last time you wrote them a note? I better stop; I'm getting convicted. Clements Family, I Love You!!!

I know you have to clip your nails and clean your ears someplace! I know that home is a place where you can "let your hair down" - but what happened to manners?! Do you say "please" and "thank you" around your house? When you belch do you say "excuse me?" Are you kinder to strangers than you are your own family? If we were honest, most of the time we are. A little manners around the house goes a long way!

Maybe you hate shopping but your wife loves it! Maybe you detest Monday Night Football but your husband looks forward to it every week! Maybe your daughter's ballet recital seems less exciting than a root canal - but it is exciting to her!! Show some genuine interest in what your family members are interested in. It gives you a place to connect, spend time together, and show love. And who knows? You might find yourself looking forward to Black Friday sales before long!

If your children are young, this isn't too hard! The stuff they come up with is priceless! Laugh as a family. Learn to take yourself a little less seriously. It's OK to be "laughed at" once in a while. I don't mean in a hateful way. I don't mean mocking or demeaning. I mean when you make a totally ridiculous statement, blunder, or joke! Laughter is great medicine! Lighten up! Learn to laugh!

I believe whoever said that "LOVE" was spelled T-I-M-E knew what they were talking about. Give your family members your time, your attention, and your service. Give them your most valuable daily asset - time! I know you're busy; I'm busy too. But we mustn't be too busy for our family! Listen, if you have time to watch TV, spend on FaceBook, and download the latest i-phone app, you have time for your family! And even if you don't do any of those things, you had better MAKE time for your family!

Well, there they are! Six gifts to give to your F-A-M-I-L-Y!

How would you change the word?
What would your own acrostic look like?