Every believer needs a Bible. In many parts of the world we have a free press and the Bible is available in so many formats to so many peoples and nations, so there is little excuse for not having a Bible. Unless you don’t want one. Sometimes people need the right version. Other times people need help understanding how it all ties together. And then there is the stray resource that helps you understand the Bible in a unique way.
I was intrigued by the concept of a “First-Century Study Bible.” We often talk about being “people of the New Testament” or striving to have a “New Testament church”. Yet we forget how far we’re removed from that time and culture. Even those statements are made from the perspective of the world that we live in. Would we really be able to go back and live the message of Scripture as they did?
To help us with such an endeavor, Zondervan partnered with New Testament scholar Kent Dobson to bring us the NIV First-Century Study Bible. Dobson is lived and studied in Israel, learning from both Christian and Jewish perspectives. He has been featured on programs for both the History and Discovery Channels. The result is a Bible filled with information you probably haven’t heard before.
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As a pastor I often mention that as Christians our lives should point to Jesus. Whatever we say, whatever we do, are our lives pointing to Him? At times life can seem so mundane and unspiritual. Yet we are called to shine the Light in the darkness, and that Light is Jesus.
So how do we do that? What parts of life point to Jesus? What does it look like from season to season, from good days to bad days, from solitude to spiritual community? Pastor and worship leader Darlene Zschech teaches us about these issues and more in her new devotional book, Revealing Jesus (Bethany House).
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As a leader, do you know what your greatest struggle is? Various answers may be running through your head. “Getting people to follow.” “Knowing how to make good decisions.” “Coming up with some kind of vision or direction for the people I lead.”
While all of these are genuine concerns, they are not your greatest struggle. It is not an external force, but an internal one; one that lies within you and threatens all that you hope to accomplish. Jim Molloy reveals the worst enemy of leadership in “Every Leader’s Everest.”
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The Character of Leadership: Six pillars of a leader’s character is a book that is easy to read, probably won’t take you long to read, but will challenge you to build up who you are before you seek to increase what you are. A primary thought behind the book is this: “Leadership will destroy the man whose character is not prepared for it.”
I was introduced to Pastor Gregg Johnson at our Maritime District fall pastor’s conference. He had made the journey from New York state, was our guest speaker for the event, and he had the opportunity to share on some of these thoughts. It was obvious that Pastor Gregg was not writing and speaking about leadership so he could make a lot of money. He never once mentioned the size of his church, how many leaders he led or how many he had groomed over the years. Pastor Gregg’s goal was to challenge pastors and church leaders so that their ministries, families, even their personal lives, would be protected and blessed by God. So when we all received a copy of the book at the conference, I was excited to read it.
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Here’s a book review by my lovely wife, Jessica.
I found Love On A Dime by Cara Lynn James to be a very enjoyable read. It was hard to put down.
I enjoyed how the author used the characters to teach many different lessons. Although the message was subtle, it became more evident as the story unfolded. It was a great reminder of how we need to lean on and trust God more in our lives. I like how she used Lilly to remind us that we need to trust the people in our lives who love us, trust them to forgive us and to still love us and wants the best for our lives, even if it conflicts with our own desires and beliefs.
As a mother, I was drawn to Lilly’s mother in the book. I felt for her as she struggled to allow her children to be who they were instead of who she thought they should be. Sometimes the pressure of society on us to have “the perfect children” makes us forget that mistakes and choices are the very things that make us who we are.
It was a great lesson, too, for those of us who try to do everything on or own, leaving God out of the equation, until we get desperate enough to let Him have control. Once we do this, He can work in our situations and then we can be at peace.
All in all, Love On A Dime was a good, enjoyable book. I would recommend this book to ladies of any age who enjoy a good, wholesome story.