“Unoffendable” by Brant Hansen

Posted June 13, 2015 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

Ouch.

“Unoffendable” by Brant Hansen, published by W Publishing Group, is a very challenging read.

Hansen challenges the idea that we, as Christians, have a right to be angry. I really enjoyed his laid back writing style – even though the content was particularly challenging for me.

The chapter titles won’t give much away, “Six Billion Rings,” “The World’s Worst Bedtime Story,” “Atheists, Socialists and Toast,” for example. But, the content is extremely valuable.

He makes the case that Christ was forgiving and open and winsome and welcoming and when we hang on to to our supposed entitled anger, we are none of those things.

As one who is often guilty of being offended, his admonition that this is a product of an enlarged ego hurt. But, it’s true. I would encourage everyone to read this book – especially those who are easily offended, and those who think they don’t need it.

Thomas Nelson provides a free copy of these books for review through their “Booklook Blogger” Program www.booklookbloggers.com ; however, I am not required to give a positive review of the book.

“Giant Killers” by Steve Lawson

Posted June 1, 2015 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

Giant Killers by Steve Lawson, published by West Bow Press is a pretty good little read.

Lawson uses the account of David vs. Goliath to bring out some useful leadership qualities for today. The book, according to the introduction, is intended to assist pastors in small churches with some of the challenges we face.. However, the information is quite useful – either a s initial instruction or a refresher – for many areas of life.

It is easy to feel overwhelmed by many circumstances and this book is intended as a guide through some of those challenges and a reminder that God is greater, yet our faith is often weak.

The chapters are fairly short (and would make for a good beach book) and divided into the following sections – Identity, Discipline, Graciousness, Action, and Hope.

While I wouldn’t call this a “page turner” or a life altering read, I would recommend it to anyone who might be looking for some help and assurance in a difficult setting. I would rate it a 4 out of 5 stars and say it should be worth the time it takes you to read.

Thomas Nelson provides a free copy of these books for review through their “Booklook Blogger” Program www.booklookbloggers.com ; however, I am not required to give a positive review of the book.

“Just a Little Bird”

Posted May 28, 2015 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?[a] And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” – Matthew 10:29-31

I was blessed to be able to run the Special Olympics Torch Run today. Better still, I got to run it with friends.

As we ran along, I noticed along the side of the road a dead bird. It was indeed a sparrow, and I could not help but think of this verse. I saw another later on which appeared to be a small pterodactyl, but that was after quite a few miles in the heat – and I know of no verses dealing with those, so we will stick with the sparrow – so back to the verse.

According to God’s Word, when that little bird fell to the ground – God took note. Now, that may not mean much in and of itself, but the real message in the passage above is not to the sparrows, but to us.

God doesn’t just notice when we die, or are born, but EVERY aspect of our lives. Are you going through a difficult time? God knows. God cares. Are you experiencing a joyous time in life? God knows. God cares. Facing some huge life decision? God knows. God cares.

He loves you that much. We all just need to be reminded of that truth from time to time.

My prayer for us this week is that we will all be ever more aware of the fact God loves us and cares about us – and EVERY aspect of our lives.

 

Praying for Law Enforcement Officers

Posted May 8, 2015 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

“… for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.” –
Romans 13:4   

This is Law Enforcement Memorial Week. The Statewide Memorial Service was held Tuesday in New Bern where officers lost in the past year were honored and all were remembered. Last year we lost three in North Carolina. Jason Crisp of the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office and US Forestry Service, Alexander Thalmann of New Bern Police Department, and Jeff Greene of the Union County Sheriff’s Office. Jeff was a former student and great friend.

This very week, a Wildlife Officer from Henderson County was brutally and severely beaten while checking fishing licenses. An officer in Cornelius was shot by a 16 year old who was wearing a bullet proof vest and sang “I shot the sheriff” after attempting to murder the officer. An officer in New York was shot and killed in an ambush, an Idaho officer was shot and killed during a traffic stop, and a Pennsylvania officer was killed in a head on collision by a driver going the wrong way on the highway.

Each of these guys have families and co-workers whose lives are forever changed.

In addition, the media is packed full of stories of allegations (most later proven false) of wrongdoing by officers. Those officers who are involved in criminal activity or abuse of their office should be, and most often are, prosecuted to the fullest allowed by law. (While some in the media would have us think that is a common occurrence, it is a tiny, tiny percentage.)

I’d like to take this time week to ask you to lift up ALL law enforcement officers in prayer.

Please pray for the families (blood family and “Blue” family) of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice as “God’s servants.”
Please pray for those assaulted and wounded, that their bodies would heal, and their health be restored, quickly and completely.
Please pray for each officer, deputy, trooper, agent (whatever title they may have). You see, they have the same issues you do. (I know many of you reading this are NOT law enforcement officers). They have marital problems, sick children, aging parents, financial issues, health issues of their own, and the other myriad of problems this life brings.
Please pray that amidst all the abuse at the hands of uninformed politicians (most looking for someone to blame besides their own failed policies), ignorant media, deviant glory hounds (I had to think a while to clean that one up), and an often unappreciative community the good officers will remember why they are doing the job in the first place.

In addition to all the recent events, there are things law enforcement officers see every day no one should ever see.
These officers are the ones who respond to that call where the father kills his infant child.
They are the ones who tell the parents their child, just days from graduating high school, was killed in a traffic crash.
They are the ones who are first at the scene of the teenager who, fearing disappointing her parents, takes her own life.
They are the ones whose heart hurts every time a parent says to their child, “See that policeman? He will take you to jail if you don’t behave.” Yes, it may seem original and funny to some, but every officer knows that is another brick in the wall of mistrust and fear in the life of that little one.
They are, indeed, the “thin blue line” between unimaginable evil and you.

Pray for them. Pray for us.

Next time you see one, say “thank you” and say a prayer for that officer and the agency.

My prayer this week (and every day) is for my Brothers and Sisters in blue.

“The Leadership Handbook” by John C. Maxwell

Posted April 28, 2015 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

“The Leadership Handbook” is classic John Maxwell. Written in his typical conversational style, it is a condensed version of many of his thoughts shared in other books by this author.  Each chapter is a nugget of leadership thought with illustrations and application included. There is a section for reflection and self-evaluation as well as a mentoring guide to help others apply these same principles in their own leadership style.

Chapter titles include “If It’s Lonely at the Top, You’re Not Doing Something Right,” “The Hardest Person to Lead is Yourself,” “Never Work a Day in Your Life,” “The Best Leaders are Listeners,” and “Don’t Send Your Ducks to Eagle School.”

There are twenty six chapters in all – each of them loaded with truths to learn, apply, and share.

I would recommend this book to anyone in a leadership role, as well as anyone who aspires to be.

I’ve read quite a few of John Maxwell’s books, tried to apply the principles in my own leadership responsibilities, and taught them to others. This book is a great guide and fairly to quick read as an introduction or refresher.

Thomas Nelson provides a free copy of these books for review through their “Booksneeze” Program www.booksneeze.com ; however, I am not required to give a positive review of the book.

It Ain’t In There #1

Posted April 18, 2015 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

“My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” – Psalm 121:2   

I’m going to start a series this week I’ll call “Things You Thought Were in the Bible – But Aren’t.” (I guess I shouldn’t expect to see bumper stickers popping up with that on there, huh?) However, these are things a lot of folks have always heard, been told, or assumed were in the Bible.

For example, today’s is – “God helps those who help themselves.”

Nope.

While God does not expect us to sit on our hands and wait to be spoon fed like a baby, the philosophy behind this one is flawed.

You see, God helps us when we realize we CANNOT help ourselves. When we realize we are finite, limited creatures with very little understanding of the deeper things of life, we come to the knowledge we can only call on Him in our time of need.

Most often, as long as we try to “fix” things or handle them ourselves, He will let us flounder on our own. When it finally dawns on us, we are making a bigger mess out of things and hand it over to Him, He will do what needs to be done.

This is deep and I’ve made it very simplistic, sometimes we are left to struggle to teach us a lesson, to strengthen our faith, and at times to discipline us – after all, He is the Heavenly Father.

The verse for today reminds us our help, even the strength we use to “help ourselves” comes from God.

“No Greater Valor” by Jerome Corsi

Posted February 9, 2015 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

“No Greater Valor” by Jerome Corsi is a challenging work for which to write a review. The content is good, the stories are compelling, and the characters are presented with compassion and care.

The difficulty I encountered was in the way it was written. The information is not chronologically presented in what, to me, would be a logical fashion.

This book is about the siege of Bastogne, Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II.

There were activities taking place in several different areas and under the command of different generals (and these commands changed over the days leading up to the height of battle).

I say all that to say, it would be complicated to present this information regardless of what method he used – chronological, geographical, command,etc.

That aside, the premise of the book is that God, through His Providence, led, guided, and directed the actions leading up to and during the siege and during the fierce battle and fighting which followed.

The book is well researched and the resources are wide ranging. Diaries, news accounts, after action reports, verbal histories, etc. were consulted and information gleaned for this work.

I’m glad I read it and I would recommend this book to my friends who are into military history. While the information goes much deeper than just the military aspect, the military theme woven throughout is indeed the core of the book.

I post these reviews as a member of Thomas Nelson’s Book Review Blogger Program. I receive a free copy of the book, but am not required to give a positive review.  Check it out at http://www.booklookbloggers.com


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