book review

Help Me Pick A Book Cover

Help Me Pick A Book Cover

I have already signed on the dotted line with Westbow Press, and must of the front matter and first two chapters are complete. Also, I have a designer for the cover art. A great friend Gabe Wahl! I would really like your help choosing the cover. 

All is Grace by Brennan Manning [a review]

This was the most difficult book I could not put down. This book was discovering that his or her alter ego anchors every soaring super hero. It was finding out Santa Claus pees and poops just like I do. Brennan Manning used to be my hero.

You are going to hate this book if you are looking for an account of the profound things done by one man in God’s name. You will not find here the account of a faith powerhouse who, with shear grit and discipline, followed God flawlessly.

You are going to love this book if can accept that God’s love for you is ridiculous and entirely impossible to comprehend or define. You will find here a beautifully broken picture of this love we all want to taste, but it is not an orthodox portrayal for you to study.

The writings and teaching of Brennan Manning have been a slow IV drip when my reliance and trust in Abba’s love have dehydrated. They have also been shock paddles to my heart in emergency moments when I am flat lining under the weight of shame, temptation, and failure.

I first heard the word ‘ragamuffin’ in 1999 in Brennan’s book The Ragamuffin Gospel. It ravished my aching heart. I came to understand God’s grace and furious love in a way I had never taken hold of in my life.

The ragamuffin is one with a singular prayer: “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” Brennan explains further in All is Grace: “any additional flourishes to make that cry more palatable are pharisaical leaven.”

The ragamuffin is one who understands that he, along with every other person, is a beggar at the door of God’s mercy. She is the one who is bedraggled and beat up in life and faith, but have learned to take the hand out of grace without regret or allowing shame to hold them back.

Revealed in this book are all the brokenness and pride, the shame and the wounds, the arrogance and failures that lie behind all the books and accolades. Brennan takes large risks in a tell all memoir, but he would clarify in other books that trust is no trust at all without risk. The amount of risk taken in this book reveals with just how much trust Brennan has fallen on the love his Abba.

One of my favorite poets, Buddy Wakefield defines forgiveness as “the release of hope for a better past.” This book reveals the hope of forgiveness. You see a hero forgive the unforgivable others in his life, namely the unforgivable within himself.

Your heroes will do all they can to keep you from seeing the sad and broken realities behind the capes. Brennan Manning used to be my hero, but this book has made him far more of a hero than he ever was.


Book Review: Billy Graham in Quotes

Not many would ever argue the wisdom and power behind the words of Billy Graham. He has stood with dignitaries of the widest array and never wavered in his presentation of the truth of Scripture. The heart of an evangelist has never been lost on this man.

This book is not a memoir. It is not a biography. It is a collection. It is a book for your reference shelf. It is sorted out in a way that makes it very easy to access exactly what you want each time you pick up the book. The arrangement of topics is not only a vast array; but it is easily accessible at the point when you need.

It is not a devotional book; though one could use it as such. There is so much information for the Christian's journey beautifully arranged in this book, you could spend moments or years soaking it all in at whatever capacity you wish and need.

As for me, this book will go on my closest shelf for easy access to a depth of knowledge you cannot easily neglect.

Thank you booksneeze and Thomas Nelson Publishing for an opportunity to review such a great book that is both rich and easily used.

Honor of Honors: my best book review I've yet to write

I received the direct message a week ago on twitter from David C. Cook asking me to read and review Brennan Manning's soon-to-release book All Is Grace: a ragamuffin memoir. As you are likely aware, Brennan is a bit of a hero to me. I had imagined my chance to have a hotdog with him would be my only proudest moment. So this request to read and review my hero's book before it officially releases in October is something I am much more than excited to do.

I am honored and humbled by the opportunity.

Coming Book Review...finally

I had taken a break from book reviews for Thomas Nelson and Booksneeze as it had reached a point that I was reading through their books so rapidly, I was rarely reading anything for myself. My break is up, and I'm back to it. I will soon be receiving the book Billy Graham in Quotes. I am excited to see what this book might have to offer. Keep coming back to get the official review in time.


The Gospel According to Jesus - A Review

In recent months, I have been saturating myself with reading focused on Jesus. When I was offered The Gospel According to Jesus in exchange for a review for Thomas Nelson and Booksneeze, I jumped at the possibility of extending my recent repertoire of the lost centrality of Jesus Christ in our gospel.

This book is not a 'Jesus book' in that it is not a break down of the person of Jesus. In an overly blunt description, this book is about righteousness.

It is not a historical breakdown of Jesus or his teaching, but this book is still necessarily soaked with Jesus Christ as it reminds us of the true understanding of righteousness and justification as only Jesus has defined for his followers.

This is the first reading of Chris Seay for me, and I was able to really follow his writing. At the end of each chapter, he documents a conversation with various Christian leaders including Don Miller, Alan Hirsch, and Mark Batterson. It was a refreshing icing at the end of each chapter to blow each conversation wide open.

A short section of artwork in the middle is a pleasant touch, but not necessary.

If you do not have a strong understanding of righteousness, as it is not a topic we spend an ordinate amount of time to study, this is a great book to pick up. It will walk you through the misunderstanding of righteousness most of us have or have had, and it reveals the true wholeness (shalom) which comes with an accurate understanding of the righteousness which is only gift from Jesus Christ.