Great Tool for Women

7 09 2018

9781433644207The leadership with the Christian Standard Bible (CSB) have spent this past year putting out one specialty Bible after another with great success.  They have done it again with The Study Bible for Women.  Dorothy Kelley Patterson, wife of former Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary president Paige Patterson, was the General Editor on this work.  The Managing Editor is Rhonda Harrington Kelley has influenced many women through her role as adjunct professor of Women’s Ministries at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.  They both worked with scholarly women from all over to produce a work for women that was put together by women.

The Bible features your standard but helpful introductions and study notes that you would find in a study Bible.  This study Bible begins with a great article written by Patterson on how to study the Bible with tips on beginning.

The Bible all throughout has articles on Biblical womanhood, character profiles of different women in the Bible, answers to difficult questions, and doctrinal studies.  In the Bible you find timelines, charts, maps, and reconstructions.  Each book ends with either a devotional word of application, celebration, or encouragement.

Of course CSB in my opinion is a well thought out translation that is easy to read and understanding.  I love the font and text size in their Bibles.

In my humble opinion this Bible would be a great tool in the hands of a woman that desires to study the Bible and I do recommend it to you.

I received a copy of this Bible in return for an honest review by the publisher.

 

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Encouragement for the Small Church Pastor

5 09 2018

41qsejNasDL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_In over 25 years of ministry I’ve been to several church conferences.  I will admit that there have been several times where I’ve come home either feeling guilty for not pastoring well because I didn’t measure up to the success that was displayed at the conference, or I’ve come home and tried to implement their blueprint for our ministry when it just didn’t fit.  In the end it almost seemed like a worthless pursuit.  Since 90% of the churches are composed of 200 or less people, it makes sense for somebody to focus on the small church.

Karl Vaters speaks to the small church pastor in his newest book:  Small Church Essentials, Field-tested Principles for Leading a Healthy Congregation of Under 250 published by Moody Publishers.  Finally, there is a book for the rest of us.

Vaters authored The Grasshopper Myth: Big Churches, Small Churches, and the Small Thinking that Divides Us (2013), speaks extensively at conferences on the topic of the small church, and writes a blog on small churches for Christianity Today. He has put a lot of thought on the subject.  He even pastors a small church and shares stories in his book on how he has had to overcome many of the challenges in his pastorate as small church pastors all over.

One of the first things Vaters does in his book is alleviate this feeling of insignificance that small church pastors may feel at times because of the size of his church. He grows through great lengths to show that small doesn’t necessarily mean unhealthy and that our goal should be becoming a great small church.  Personally I found this very encouraging.

What I found helpful was the practical advice given in this book on tackling the issues and problems that arise in a small church, that a larger church doesn’t have.  From dealing with difficult people to dealing with a lack of resources, there is some truly helpful tidbits in this book.  I even found myself convicted a few times for how I’ve handled things recently.

All in all I believe that this will be a helpful book for small church pastors.  I could see small church pastors meeting together to go through this book.

I have always been a small church pastor and probably will remain in that role.  In closing I believe that there is a special place in Heaven for those pastors who work 40 hour weeks while pastoring a flock.  I’m thankful for the opportunity to read this book.

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher for an honest review.  I’m thankful for the opportunity.





Great Book on Battling Sexual Sin

15 06 2018

41qeSqVJniL._SY346_There is hardly a few weeks that go buy that I don’t have a conversation with somebody about sexual sin.  Whether it is a young man struggling in the church that I pastor or it is seeing it first hand as the male that I’m ubering around in my car is trying to convince the girl with him to come back and cuddle just a bit, it is evident that we do live in a broken world.  Paul David Tripp talks about this world gone crazy in his book Sex in a Broken World:  How Christ Redeems What Sin Distorts, published by Crossway.  In this book he doesn’t deny that we are sexual beings, but we live in a world that is not sexually healthy but is deeply broken.  In this world God does not promise us that we will not struggle, but rather He has given to us the best gift ever in it—Himself.  As a matter of fact according to the author, “The cross is our guarantee that in all our struggles with sex, no matter who we are and what those struggles may be, God will give us everything we need.  If He willingly gave us His Son, we can rest assured He will gladly supply what we are not able to supply for ourselves.”  There can be victory in this area of our lives!

In this book Tripp takes a close look at the brokenness of this world but challenges the Christian to not use that as an excuse to chase sin.  He encourages the Christian to take a good long look at his/her own heart and ask the question of whether or not your heart is controlled by a higher pleasure of God, which is greater than any other pleasure you could seek.  The question is this:  Is God the master of my heart?  Everything else falls into place after that.  In this book the author goes in great detail to show us that we must have a heart-controlling love for God that can protect us in this world that we live in.

Tripp completes his book with some practical advice on how to find victory in this area of your life.  He points to hope found in the gospel and in the power of God.  He says, “When you begin to understand that you’ve been invited to a meal that will never end, that you’ve been welcomed to the King’s table forever, you’ll quit looking to sneak a bite at other tables.”  Understanding what we have in this relationship with God, goes far in the victory we all need.

This is going to be a book that I keep close.  It is going to be a book that I recommend time and time again because of the pervasive nature of this sin and this sinful world that we live in.  I found many of the truths in this book to be applicable not only to sexual sin, but any sin.  This is one that you need on your shelfs not just for yourself, but for those you love.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.





Hurting? This is an Excellent Read!

6 06 2018

downloadHave you ever read a book and you could only think of is the people that you needed to pick up a copy of it?  That is exactly how I felt as I began my journey with author Sarah Van Diest in her book God in the Dark:  31 Devotions to Let the Light Back In published by NavPress.  The words of this book were first written to a friend who was in great pain.  Knowing that there was nothing that she could do to make the pain go away, she resorted to praying and writing him letters.  Each day she would send her friend a small note with her thoughts on a section of Psalm 119.  Those small notes and a few more added just for the book are what you have in this devotional read.  This devotional is vGod in the darkry personal and each day’s read is short and concise.  This book of 160 pages is so full of truth, encouragement, Scripture, God, hope, and faith.  If I sound as if I’m gushing about it, then you would be correct.

I could just about tweet this whole book out, if that was possible.  Of course I commend this book to you or somebody that you might know that is in a dark place right now.  It is a wonderful reminder that God is always present in our darkness.  The same comfort that the author sought to bring to her friend who was hurting, can be brought to you.

I received a copy of this book for an honest review.





I Have Found a Great Kids Bible

24 03 2018

images (2)Just recently I had a conversation with one of our children workers over what would be the best Bible to put into the hands of our children at the church that I pastor.  I wished I had known about the CSB Kids Bible, published by B&H.  This Bible fits the needs of a young child that is growing in love with the Word of God.

I love how you open the cover and the first two pages are so practical.  One shows you where you can go in the Scriptures when you are facing such problems as, being afraid, discouraged, worried, and other struggles that a child might have.  The second is a guide to help a young follower study the Bible.  Turn the page and you have a challenge for a young reader to grow in their Bible skills and what that growth could look like.  There is even a page in the beginning of this Bible that teaches a young reader how to have a quiet time with God including a section CSB Kids Bible Int Sampleof how to pray.

This Bible is filled with very colorful pages with study helps, summaries for each Bible division, maps, and topical concordance.

I believe one of the best things about this Bible in the CSB translation, which is very readable.  I love too the large, easy to read type.

All in all I believe that this is just another example of what the publishers of the CSB are doing to get the Bible into the hands of people, even our youngest readers.

I highly recommend this Bible.

I received a copy of the Bible for an honest review.





Solid Read on Worship

24 03 2018

11957eb“Worship is our response, both personal and corporate, to God—for who He is! And what He has done! Expressed in and by the things we say and the way we live.”  That is how Louie Giglio describes worship in his book The Air I Breath:  Worship as a Way of Life published by Multnomah.  Giglio, who is the Pastor of Passion City Church and the Founder of the Passion movement, a movement hoping to impact a generation to live for the fame of Jesus Christ, understands worship.  His label that he helped create, Six Step Records, has been a leader in producing some of the best known worship songs of the past decade.  I believe this makes Giglio the perfect person to be speaking about worship to us.

This book, which is a short but impactful read, begins with showing us the truth that everyone is truly a worshiper.  He says, “You simply follow the trail of your time, your affection, your energy, your money, and your loyalty.  At the end of that trail you’ll find a throne; and whatever; or whomever, is on that throne is what’s of highest value to you.  On that throne is what you worship.”  That is powerful and so true.  We don’t have to teach people how to worship.  According to the author people are already prewired to do that.  The question is what or whom are they worshipping.

The remainder of this short book is an unfolding of the definition that the author presents.  I found the book very thoughtful, full of Scripture, and easy to read.  As a pastor I will find myself pulling this book down from my shelf whenever I’m in need to think about worship.  I certainly recommend it to you.

I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review.





My Opinion: Go Buy this Bible!!!

21 02 2018

ApologeticsStudyBible_Hardcover_WithJacket@2x Apologetics comes from the Greek word apologia which means “defense” or “answer”.  It is commonly known as the practice of giving a defense of your faith.  In this post Christian era that we have been privileged to live in, wouldn’t it be nice to have a resource at your finger tips to assist you in that defense.  The publishers of the Christian Stand Bible, CSB, have done that with the CSB Apologetics Study Bible.  In this Bible they have brought together some of the best apologetic minds to help us with such a defense.

This Bible is truly a must have for almost all believers.  As you share the gospel you are always faced with questions and situations that require greater insight than you may feel comfortable delivering at the moment.  This Bible is filled with 134 articles on key apologetic subjects.  Want to know if the Old Testament is trustworthy?  You will find an article written by Walter C. Kaiser Jr.  Want to know about how the Bible was accurately copied down through the centuries?  Norman L. Geisler has an answer for you in this Bible.  How do you defend miracles?  Ronald H. Nash has an article on that very subject in this Bible.

Why a Bible?  What better place to put such material especially when its very content is being questioned.  This Bible includes 48 “twisted Scripture” sections for Scriptures that have been misunderstood.  You are able to see the apologist give explanation to help you have an objective answer in such a relative world that we live.

Each of the 66 books have an introduction written exclusively for this Bible.  The introductions along with the short study helps at the bottom of the pages of Scripture, help you have a greater grasp as to the reliability of the book that you are studying.  This is actually a good study Bible to have on yourself.

This Bible helps you by giving you profiles of 12 of the most prominent apologists from Thomas Aquinas to C.S. Lewis.

All of this and more is placed in the CSB translation which I find very easy to read and reliable.  I just love the type in these CSB Bibles.  It is very easy on the eyes.

I would say that every pastor and student of the Word needs to have this Bible on his shelf to read and to reference.  I’m thankful to have mine.

The publisher sent me a copy of this Bible for an honest review.