Questions – week of February 14th

So here are some questions from the sermon, but also off of facebook this week about our readings….. From: Leviticus 24-25  Should be some good discussions on that one. The inherent contradiction opens some interesting ethical dilemmas.  Blasphemies are to be put to death.  Anyone that takes a human life is to be put to death.   Kind of a vicious circle there – unless one is excused because they are exercising the Word. In which case, well, we have lots of current-day examples of people doing as they feel they are commanded and “smiting in The Name,” don’t we???  Very interesting choice of passage! It is interesting isn’t it?   First off Blasphemy and Murder are both listed in the 10 […]

Book Review – God’s Story in 66 Verses

I was somewhat skeptical of a book that claimed to  tell God’s story in 66 verses… let alone was titled that.  Stan Guthrie though uses a verse from each book of the Bible to allow us to explore the whole of scripture  and gain a basic overview of what God is doing.   Each chapter takes us through an overview of a book of the Bible, using one verse to highlight the overall theme of that book of the Bible.  Guthrie also works hard to tie the book of the Bible into the larger story of scripture, and does a good job of connecting the Old Testament texts to the New Testament narrative. Reality is if you try and summarize […]

Book Review – Fairness is Overrated

Tim Stevens writes a book that aims to help readers revolutionize their workplace.  This book targets anyone in a leadership position, with some sections being noted as for church leaders.  Each leadership principle is a short chapter of two to four pages reflecting on a leadership principle.   Each chapter ends with discussion questions to help personalize and apply the principle discussed.  The book is also divided into four sections.  Two of the sections focus on our leadership and who we are as leaders, and the other two sections focus on the environment we create around ourselves and relationships with others. Tim Stevens definitely has a successful track record in leadership.  While I believe this is a good leadership book for […]

Book Review – from Tablet to Table

From Table to Table is a passionate look at the image of the table in scripture and the value table fellowship and shared meals offer to us as individuals, as families, and as community. Leonard Sweet reminds us of the table ministry Jesus had. We are given a chance to step back and see how much food played in Jesus’ ministry and in his stories. So often when we read these stories we see the food and table as common everyday items, rather than clues to understanding the ministry of Jesus, and what God desires for us. Sweet’s writing style in this book took me a bit to get used to. I realized as I progressed through the book that […]

Book Review – Vanishing Grace

Philip Yancey is a well known Christian author for books such as What’s so Amazing about Grace? and Where is God When it Hurts?  Yancey’s writing has brought encouragement and support to many believers.  His new book Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News? is another book that should hit home with most of it’s readers.  In this book, Yancey is looking at how the church is perceived  in our culture and how the church has come to perceived that way. Yancey challenges each reader to examine their view of grace and root their interactions in the world in that grace.   Yancey believes that the Good News is still Good News and when presented in grace can still […]

Book Review – The Christmas Story for Children

Normally I don’t get my eye caught by children’s Bible storybooks, however The Christmas Story for Children stands out for a few reasons. First, it’s a part of the The Story project, and my favourite children’s story author Max Lucado is a part of this project. The Christmas Story for Children is what you would expect – the Christmas Story with the appropriate artwork. Yet there are some qualities to this book’s storytelling that stand out. First, they don’t try to mix all the Christmas narratives into one. The story is told clearly with a sense that this is a story being told based on scripture, but is not an actual scripture reading. Second, the artwork is wonderful and high […]

Book Review – Simplify by Bill Hybels

The title of the book Simplify caught my attention.  Knowing Bill Hybels’ writing and speaking from previous experiences, I was curious to see what the practices are that he advocates to simplify life. I’ve often encountered in my own life, and in the lives of others, an ongoing sense that we’re just juggling life waiting for something to drop and life to fall apart.  Being pulled in multiple directions we realize we’re not as flexible as we thought and are left wondering how can I simplify life to make it easier!   Bill Hybel attempts to lead the reader on a journey that examines how they live their life and make the choices they make in order to simplify the life they […]

Book Review – Soul Keeping by John Ortberg

I had the opportunity to read John Ortberg’s book Soul Keeping.   I’m not entirely sure why the title caught my eye, whether it was the author, the title, or perhaps God saying ‘read this’… my guess is a combination of both.  In the book Ortberg invites us into his journey and relationships so we can explore the nature of our soul, how to care for it, and the value it has in our discipleship.   Ortberg begins by expanding on what the soul is, a reflection which made me aware how little we speak of the soul anymore (at least in my circles).  While we strive to be more holistic, I’ve realized perhaps we’ve become lazy in our language and […]

Book Review – Be the Dad She Needs You to Be by Dr. Kevin Leman

It always seems to me there is an endless supply of parenting books available.   Being the father of four girls, Be the Dad She Needs You to Be grabbed my attention from the many other titles I know are available.   In his book Dr. Kevin Leman  lays out his position on how important fathers are in the lives of daughters.   The topics he discusses range from understanding birth order, how girls relate compared to guys, discipline ideas, to sexuality, right through the teenage years.  Dr. Leman reminds us that we only have so much time and we want to help our girls be strong, confident and healthy in all areas of their lives. Reading the book I found myself overall […]

Book Review – “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus” by Nabeel Qureshi

Every so often I find a book compelling enough I just can’t wait to finish reading it.  Nabeel’s reflections and memories of growing up in the Islamic faith and culture, while eventually encountering Christianity, are a compelling read.   His book exposes us to a deeper understanding of Islamic faith, the diversity of belief within the Islamic faith as well as the culture.   As Nabeel shares, we see a genuine love for his family and for his faith during his growing up years.  Nabeel systematically works through the encounters that he had with Christianity and Islam where he was wrestling with determining who is God and what is true.   His intellectual, emotional and cultural wrestling could have this book be categorized […]