Posts Tagged ‘books’

Let’s start at the beginning. If anyone from my church reads this review, no I am not thinking of quitting. I received a copy of this book from the publisher as a review copy, and I am really glad I did. This book is wall to wall encouragement and is great for anyone who has ever found themselves in a “dip” a tough spot that make you want to give up. Combining personal examples with many stories from the Bible, (including many of my favorites) Nepstad makes a compelling argument for keeping on keeping on. While I am not thinking of quitting my ministry, I have to admit to having received this book right after something pretty discouraging happened in my life and I have to admit the encouragement in this book, made me realize I could not just survive but thrive. I will not quit in the dip. You shouldn’t either. If you find yourself in need of encouragement, read this book. 

This is a fantastic book on the Holy Spirit, combining biblical teaching with testimonies from people who have seen the work in their lives. Cymbala has written a book that is encouraging and convicting at the same time. The book speaks to our need for the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers, from His help in prayer and comprehending Scripture, to His power in our lives.

This is a must read especially for the season we’re in right now.

Okay let me start with a confession. I am a big fan of Torry Martin. I bought his book Of Moose and Men when we were both speaking at the Montrose Christian Writers Conference here in PA last year and I was hooked. This book is a sampler of several of the chapters from that book and his current book Call of the Mild, after reading this book, I can’t wait to pick that one up. Look, Torry is hilarious! He’s also a very interesting person who’s lived an interesting life. These stories are part memoir, part comedy with a little bit of devotional pulled in for good measure. If you’ve never read Torry’s stuff, pick this up, you can read it in an hour or two. After reading these stories you’ll want to pick up both of the full length books. This is great, uplifting material that will put a smile on your face and bless you, and who couldn’t use that?

This is the kind of book that will make a grown man cry. How do I know? Because I’m a grown man another were quite a few times when the tears came. This is an excellent memoir about what happens when a person really sees someone else and doesn’t walk on by. Jim Bradford was in a little fast food restaurant getting a cup of coffee, when he saw a young boy sitting by himself listening to the radio. He had braces on his legs, from cerebral palsy and was blind. Jim approached the boy and an amazing friendship was born. Together the unlikely pair had amazing adventures that expanded each of their worlds.

This is the kind of book I love. It shows that sometimes if you want to see a miracle, you’ve got to take the time to be the miracle. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and pray that the lessons I learned from it will change my life and the lives of everyone who takes the time to read it. You really can make difference in this world. Jim Bradford and H.K. Derryberry both prove it. This one is a must read.

prayerofprotectionWe might call ourselves creatives, but God is the ultimate Creator. We may call ourselves artists, but God is the greatest artist, and just as we work in art, so does our Lord. This was made apparent to me today as I was reading Joseph Prince’s The Prayer of Protection. I received an advance copy of the book for the purposes of review and I am getting to that, but I am also reading it as research for a message on prayer. Knowing almost nothing about Prince, I was not sure what I would think of his book, but I have to admit he called out an image in Scripture that I had not considered before.

He is writing about the Ark of the Covenant, while talking about how God wants to gather us under his wings seeing God as our refuge. He references the mercy seat on the ark, covered by the wings of golden cherubim, and he reminds us of what is inside the ark.

“Three items were placed inside the ark of the covenant: the stone tablets on which God inscribed the Ten Commandments, a golden pot of manna, and Aaron’s rod that had budded. The three items typify man’s rebellion—man’s rejection of God’s holy standards, man’s rejection of God’s provision and man’s rejection of God’s appointed leadership. God took these symbols of man’s rebellion and failure and placed them in the ark of the covenant, and covered them with his mercy seat. It’s a beautiful picture of his unmerited favor over our lives, how mercy triumphs over judgment. This is the secret place where God wants you and me to live each day—not under the claws of judgment, punishment and condemnation, but under his wings of mercy, grace and favor. This is the place of divine protection.”

Is he right? I don’t know but it is certainly worthy of consideration. I had not seen this imagery before and yet now I am having a having a hard time seeing anything else. I always just kind of assumed that the items in the ark were symbolic of God’s law, how provision, and his leadership. I had not considered the fact that all of them also reflect rebellion and rejection. This much I do know. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus and to reject Him is the only unforgivable sin. God works in images fairly often in Scripture and sometimes those images have multiple layers that deserve closer examination. Our work should be the same. We should continually go deeper in our love for the Lord, in our learning about and from the Lord and in developing those things we to to His glory.

We live in His mercy, lets continually go deeper and do what we an to take others deeper as well.

One of the things I love is generating materials to help people to explore and enhance their creativity. I have quite a few books out and I thought I would share them here,

Creative Ministry Books

Running A.M.O.K. Kindle Version Running A.M.O.K. Print Version Minstering to the Creative Soul Kindle Version Ministering to the Creative Soul Print Version

Creativity Builders

One Liners Kindle Version One Liners Print Version Creativity Kickers 1001: A Sketch Odyssey

Ministry Resources

Pictures of Jesus Print Book Story: Parables of Jesus Creative Journal Many Parts One Body: Large Many Parts, One Body: Medium
Many Parts, One Body: Small

Adult Coloring

Kaleidoscopic Creatures 1 Kaleidoscopic Creatures 2 Kaleidoscopic Creatures 3
Kaleidoscopics 1 Kaleidoscopics 2 Kaleidoscopics 3 Kaleidoscopics 4

Drawing Books

Making Faces: Holidaze Making Faces: Creatures and Monsters I Making Faces: Creatures and Monsters II

So I will admit it. There are times when I take life way too seriously and occasionally that means a diversion is in order and when I think diversions, it usually involves a book. To me for a book to be a diversion, it has to be fiction and here’s where I usually run into trouble. You see I am the kind of reader who finds a favorite writer, reads everything they write and then move on to find someone else. I’m at that point right now. I am a huge Michael Crichton fan, but of course, Crichton passed away several years ago and I have read his entire collection. I needed to find a new author and I kind of still do.

You see the issue for me is the issue of darkness. I do not like explicit darkness in the books that I read. I had heard great things about a major author most of you have heard of. I had read one of his books years ago and thought it was pretty good. I especially appreciated his extremely short chapters which make it easy for someone like me who doesn’t have a lot of reading time. This year I went to our local library’s book sale and picked up a whole collection of the author’s work and started to read the first book in the series. It was so dark and explicitly dark, giving brutal gory details of sinister crimes. I could not finish it and didn’t even attempt the other books. What a waste and what’s worse is I can’t really justify donating them to anywhere else because I don’t want to pass the darkness along.

I’m reading a new book by a pretty prolific younger author and I have to admit I am getting pretty hooked. It’s the same kind of book Crichton wrote, a thriller that dances on the edge of sci-fi with enough science to make the concept plausible making the reader question could this really happen. Then about 100 pages in, I get this gory scene complete with explicit descriptions of brutality and my question is why. The writer clearly knows how to spin a compelling tale, this thing is a page turner, but I don’t know if I want to finish, and that is what spawned my question? Why all the darkness? I’m not a prude or a pharisee but I have to know, why do we have to do so far. It seems like writers feel like they need to give is either gory brutality (even Crichton hit this at times) or explicit sexuality and frankly, I need neither. It seems to me that a good writer doesn’t need all that. Give me a few details and my mind will connect the dots, I don’t need you to spell it out for me.

Look guys this world is dark enough, when I go to a book, it’s a diversion. I’m not saying it has to be all lollipops and rainbows. As a matter of fact, I love a good thriller, but leave something to the imagination. We don’t need all this darkness.

Our world is dark enough. Write something hopeful, where he good guys win once in a while. Give me a hero who wins and a villain who loses. Let the good guy get the girl and for goodness sake, don’t give me an anti hero. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but in my world good ought to win.

“It’s not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory or defeat.”

I love this quote. Failure is not fatal, but we have to fail forward and “while daring greatly.” I found this quote in the book Winning Plays by Matt Mayberry, a great book about rebounding from failure.

covershotcolorbook3finI’ve made it through eight months of a year in art. August was consumed largely with two large projects: The Herald the Angel children’s book I illustrated for Mike and Mary Jane Furches and my two new Making Faces books. In addition there were a few wonderful speaking opportunities and work on a new presentation that I will be delivering complete for the first time in September. Of course there were plenty of Creacher toons and all the work I do as pastor. The point behind this project is you can find time in your schedule to do at least a little something creative every day. You just have to start. You can see August’s page here. Remember I am a believer in taking days of rest. As a result, some days I double up.

I am pleased to announce two more titles from my Making Faces Series. Creatures and Monsters Books 1 and 2. I give you half a face on a grid and using symmetry and the observation skills so necessary in art to complete the face, then color and decorate as you see fit. They are really fun and I think you will really enjoy them.

Get them by clicking on the covers below.

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