Books

Porn Nation

 Author: Michael Leahy

     This book came highly recommended from my pastor as well as a friend who has had struggles with internet pornography.  This book is a compelling story of one man’s fight against the addiction.  It wasn’t until he literally lost everything that he was able to turn the corner and actually want to get well.  It is also a story of God’s grace as he now helps others who want a way out from this addiction.  Michael Leahy has an active speaking schedule, opening up this issue, on college campuses around the nation.

         One of the sobering parts of this book are the porn and sex statistics garnered from our  young people.  He says when parents are interviewed about what they think their children are doing, statistically their responses are half of what is actually going on.  That means many of us as parents will at some point find out very sobering things about our youth.  In essence we have had our head in the sand wanting to think the best of our kids, or simply being to busy to pay attention.  He talks about what the ramifications can be for this generation of porn steeped young people.  No all is not lost, God is still on the throne but we need to be aware and help steer our young people in the right direction.  Maybe we will have to steer ourselves in the right direction first.

     This book will challenge you to look deeply into your life and see if there are seeds or roots that need to be pulled out.  I thought about the many sexual conversations that I had with buddies growing up.  How those attitudes still effect me to this day.  I have been challenged to put an accountability structure in place so that I stay walking pure.  We as men need to talk about these issues more, get them out in the open, and enlist each others support, in this battle for mental and physical sexual purity.

From the Inside Flap

“The growing prevalence of sexual images, innuendo and objectification is a constant threat to my sexual sobriety. Song lyrics, music videos, reality TV shows, sitcoms, commercials, print ads, even the covers of magazines at my local supermarket checkout stand dot the landscape of my life like land mines waiting to explode underneath my feet should I choose to ponder them for too long.
But even as I talk with today’s youth and college students, the real target of this growing industry with an insatiable appetite for profits, this unprecedented level of saturation comes as no surprise to them. The most common response I get when asking them if they’re aware of their juxtaposition to all of the titillating content around them: “Sure, we know, we’re soaking in it!” When asked how it’s affecting them, most can only shrug their shoulders. Like the proverbial frog enjoying a swim in the boiling pot sitting on a stove, all we really know is it’s a good bit warmer in here than it used to be.”
—Michael Leahy

  

   The Shack

   by William Paul Young

        We read this book as a family some time back.  My thirteen year old Son said "This is the best book we have ever read."  High praise from a quite thirteen year old boy. 

     The author uses story to unravel for us the true heart of God for us.  As I read through the book I wanted to stop and highlight certain passages because I felt like I was gaining more insight into the true heart of God and how he wants relationship with me

     Many times it moved me to tears as Mack the main character said things that I have said and thought.  Then to hear the reply of Jesus to these questions or doubts or fears was powerful.

     If you are tired of God being trapped inside the confines of a list of rules, and denominational doctrine, read this and discover his true heart for you and all the world.  He is "Especially fond of you."

    Here is the description of the book from Amaxon.com

    Mackenzie Allen Philips’ youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack’s world forever. In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant "The Shack" wrestles with the timeless question, "Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?" The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him. You’ll want everyone you know to read this book!

     I have to agree with the last sentence.  Everyone should read this book.  You should also listen to William Paul Young’s story at the following link www.sandycove.org/theshack 

 

 

My Utmost For His Highest My Utmost For His Highest

Author: Oswald Chambers

An all-time classic devotional book. You can tell by using this devotional that the author knew the savior. His emphasis is on relationship with God and the resulting life that springs forth. He also challenges us to do our part in our sanctification. This devotional will challenge you to deeper levels with God.

 

  

 

 

 Humility: True Greatness

 Humility : True Greatness

Author: C.J. Mahaney

This small book is packed with great content. It will challenge you to work at humility in your own life. There are a number of chapters that talk about specific things you can actively do to help you grow in humility. There are also some great tidbits about parenting and relating with others. This book makes a great devotional book. Each chapter takes about 15 minutes to read. Read this and be changes. To be truly great you must be a servant of all. 

 

Discovering The Mind of a WomanDiscovering The Mind Of A Woman

Author: Ken Nair

The key to becoming a strong and irresistible husband is …

A different perspective on what true leadership in the home is. A call to men to model Christ in their homes. We are to love our wives and children as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for it. Ken challenges us to examine many aspects of our life and take responsibility for our speech, attitudes, and behavior.

  

 

Hinds Feet On High PlacesHinds Feet on High Places

Author: Hannah Hunnard

    This book is a wonderful spiritual allegory. It takes us through the transformation of "Much Afraid" into "Grace and Glory". Along the way she needs to deal with "Craven Fear" and many other challenges. At times she doubts "The Shepherd" because of what he asks her to do or where he directs her path. She even doubts the traveling companions "The Shepherd" has given her. There is so much here that applies to real live. I keep returning to this book over and over and there is new truth in for each season of life.

  

 

 

[amazonify]1884369359::text::::The Secret of the Stairs[/amazonify]

Author: Wade Taylor

    This book takes the reader through the book of Song of Solomon, drawing many spiritual lessons.  Our relationship with Jesus is the same relationship as the Lover and the Beloved..  This book brings new understanding to our relationship with our Lord and savior.  Mr. Taylor is a man who knew the Lord intimately and it shows in this book.  Are you seeking a more intimate walk with Jesus?  This book will challenge you and draw you to that place.

 

  

 

Do Hard Things

Authors: Alex & Bret Harris

A generation stands on the brink of a "rebelution."

A growing movement of young people is rebelling against the low expectations of today’s culture by choosing to "do hard things" for the glory of God. And Alex and Brett Harris are leading the charge.

"Do Hard Things "is the Harris twins’ revolutionary message in its purest and most compelling form, giving readers a tangible glimpse of what is possible for teens who actively resist cultural lies that limit their potential.

Combating the idea of adolescence as a vacation from responsibility, the authors weave together biblical insights, history, and modern examples to redefine the teen years as the launching pad of life. Then they map out five powerful ways teens can respond for personal and social change.

My family and I have attended one of their live events and it has been truly impacting.  It has impacted my life and I see the echo of this in my teens lives.  They have a greater commitment to God, are more willing to get out of their comfort zone, and have a renewed interest in God’s word. 
 

Against All OddsAgainst All Odds

Author: Jim Stier

This books is a testimony to the faithfulness of God.  The author from a broken home, experienced a divorce within a year of marriage while in bible school.  He prayed "God if you can still use me I am available". 

He and his second wife are called to work in Brazil.  This book chronicles all their struggle to get there, and once there to establish the work they were called to.  It is amazing to read about the miracles that God did along the way, transforming them and their rag tag band of Jesus followers into a force helping transform a nation and the world.

You will be challenged by this book to live on the edge with God, to be faithful to his calling in your life and watch what "He" will do as a result.  God wants to do so much more in our lives, but often we refuse to step out of our comfort zone so that we can see his mighty hand work.  When we step out in faith by obedience that is when God shows himself faithful in powerful ways.

 

The Imitation of Christ

Author: Thomas A Kempis

Download PDF file 118 pages

This book is a collection of writings from monks in before 1380AD.  Thomas A Kempis wrote them down and did some translation.  This book has been translated into English from the original Latin.  

It is interesting to see that mans struggles are the same even centuries later.  These brief devotional clips call us to seek God with our whole heart, putting aside the things that really don’t matter.  It helps bring focus to life and what we should be about. 

You can download this as a free pdf file from the link above.

 

 

 

The Heavenly Man

The Remarkable True Story of Chinese Christian Brother Yun

How do I describe and do justice to this impactful book.  This is the biography of Brother Yun one of the leaders of China’s house church movement.  It chronicles his life, and the hardships he endured for the gospel .  He endures unthinkable circumstances by focusing on Jesus and meditating on the scripture he had memorized.  Through all this God uses him in mighty ways during his imprisionment and torture.  Many people come to know and love the savior.  He loves in return for hate he received and Love triumphs over all evil.

As I read this book I know that this man knows Jesus intimately.  I was challenged by how he received the Lords chastening in his life through his sufferings.  There are times he said that he looked forward to the public humiliation perscribed to him, because he was suffering for his Lord.  This is such a stark contrast to American christianity, with it’s name it and claim it gospel.  For me this is a rebuke of my soft easy christianity.  If you read the new testament you will see a theme of entering into the sufferings of Christ..  Oh that we as the western church would rise up and follow our brothers example.

Brother Yun also talks about how the house church movement in China is raising up missionaries to tear down the strongholds of three major religions, buddhism, hinduism, and The muslim faith.  Only those who have been tempered with suffering and are not afraid to give their lives will be successful in this venture.  He believes that the Chinese Church has been raised up by God for just this work.  He says don’t pray for the persecution to end in China but that the believers will be tempered through it and prepared for God’s good work.  I thank God for the Chinese Church and the gift they are to the church worldwide.

This book will challenge you to the very core.  Would I be willing to pursue Christ in the face of this kind of persecution?  How do I face the puny challenged I face in my life?  Am I looking for Gods chastening hand or am I a whining complainer?  You will be impacted if you read this book.

 

The Roots of Endurance

by John Piper

     John Piper explores the lives of three men, who persevere under under hard circumstances for long periods of time.  The three men are John Newton, Charles Simeon, and William Wilberforce.  Each of these men left a mark on England and the culture of their day.  The author explores the question how could they continue on for decades with seemingly no progress.  What were the roots of their endurance. 

     John Newton was a pastor, but for 13 years the pew holders refused to unlock the pews so those who wanted to hear his messages had to stand in the isles.  He persevered through this and became one of the most influential spiritual leaders of his time.

    William Wilberforce worked for over 30 years to overturn the slave trade and slavery in the British colonies.  Though he had much at stake and was against tremendous financial influences he persevered and just before his death saw this come to fruit. 

     Most of us would give up and quit when faced with such opposition.  What kept these men going for the long haul?

These are words we need to hear in our quick results society.  What does it take to run the race with endurance.

 

I Kissed Dating Goodbye

by Joshua Harris

     A fresh look at our dating culture.  What are the real ramifications to us and our children.  Mr. Harris challenges us to take a new look at dating.

     Does the concept of dating treat the value of real relationships to flippantly?  My wife was talking with a friend of hers who said her eight year old daughter was breaking up with her boyfriend.  Are we teaching our children that relationships are expendable and can be changed as easily as one changes a pair of shoes?  I am tired of this relationship and what it does for me, I think I will go looking for something new and fresh.  What happens when we give our heart to someone else?  I venture to say that many of us remember those we have given our hearts to in the past.  Do those ties and the hurts that follow effect us in the future.

    Mr. Harris talkes about a different way courtship.  Emphasizing relating to others in group environments and within the family.  How do we really get to know someone if we don’t see them relating to others in all kinds of situations? 

     This book is about so much more than just dating.  The reader is challenged to examine ones self,  to look at how we relate to the opposite sex.   To examine our real motives, to commit more of our life to the Master.

     Josh Harris wrote this book while he was still single and had no relationship.  He has sinced married, but he followed his own challenge to court his future bride rather than date her.  A very stimulating and challenging book for both parents and their children.

 

 

Living Beyond the Limits

By Franklin Graham

     Our family picked up this book while touring the Samaritans Purse headquarters in Boon N.C..  We were there to help process shoeboxes for "Operation Christmas Child".  The book was a thank you gift from the ministry to us for helping with the shoeboxes.

     When I saw the title I thought it was something I needed to read.  I have been feeling that I live to much within the known and comfortable.  This book is really a collection of stories about different people who have chosen a life on the edge for God.  One of the stories is of a woman affectionately called Mama Gump who from a poor coal mining area of West Virginia, collected more shoe boxes than any other single person.   Her meeting with Franklin and the opportunities that it opened up for her to minister to others.  This story touched my heart deeply, and we used excerpts from the book in our family christmas devotions.

     There are stories about individuals who were forthright about their faith and beliefs and the the way God used them in others lives.   Stories about people that took risks to minister to those who others ignore.  People who put their lives in Gods hands knowing that the one who looses his life will find it.  This book doesn’t shrink back from the gospel but boldly challenges us to live lives that count for God.  Shouldn’t we press on to minister to those who are dieing, because if they die without Jesus they will be lost forever.  We who know the truth would die and be ushered into the presence of our Loving Heavenly Father.  This book will challenge you with the lives of ordinary people who chose to be used by God.

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