Affiliate Disclosure: I am grateful to be of service and bring you content free of charge. In order to do this, please note that when you click links and purchase items, in most (not all) cases I will receive a referral commission. In addition, many of the books reviewed on this site were received free from the publisher through various book review bloggers programs. I am never required to write a positive review. On ocassion I will review a book that was not provided by the publisher. If that is the case I will note it on that particular post. Otherwise, assume that it was. All opinions I have expressed are always my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Just as I Am review

Admittedl this is not the most appealing book cover I have ever seen.  The face looks rather masculine to be a girl and the labret piercing kind of gives me the willies.  But I think that was the point.

Book description from Amazon:
When purple-haired Mayla Strong struts down the center aisle of Salliesburg Independent Christian Church, the bug-eyed congregation strains to get a peek at her pierced nose and lip. But Pastor Paul welcomes her with a huge, infectious grin and baptizes her on the spot. Determined to make her Heavenly Father proud, Mayla's sincere and often hilarious attempts to let Him change her from the inside out take her into some difficult places. Through it all she grows in faith and wisdom--sometimes through pain, sometimes through humor, but always in a way that is uniquely Mayla.

Have to say that I really didn't find any "hilarious" attempts to let God change her life, but I did find the book interesting.  The characters are a bit one dimensional and really could have been developed more, but the story line wasn't to bad.

The book opens with Mayla making the decision to let God have her life and she gets baptized, purple hair, nose ring, pierced lip, "pink hooker panties" and all.  She immediately feels like a different person and begins to notice changes in her choices such as not cussing anymore without even realizing she wasn't until a co-worker pointed it out to her.  She jumps into the Christian walk with both feet and begins to visit a friend of a friend in the hospital who is dying of AIDS because it is the Christian thing to do.  The new relationship causes her to question God in some aspects.

Her roommate is seriously upset by Mayla's new life and doesn't speak to her for months only to later reveal a devastating secret that has clouded her view of Christians.  Mayla helps her to see the light. 

For that matter Mayla helps lots of people to "see the light" from her co-worker, to the dying AIDS victim, her room mate and even people in the small church she attends.  While I really didn't feel like the author gave a reasonable rendition of real life in the book, she did expose how the actions of a single person who acts honestly and sincerely can affect others.

If you are looking for a quick read, and free if you have a Kindle or a Kindle device, this is a pretty uplifting book with a few good quotes in it.  If you are looking for something down to earth and real life, this probably isn't for you.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Slave by John MacArthur

"Author and pastor Dr. John MacArthur reveals one crucial word that revolutionizes what it means to follow Jesus.

Throughout the Bible, followers of Jesus are commanded to submit to Him as their King. They are told to obey and follow, faithfully and without hesitation. Every time Christians utter the word Lord, they make a subtle yet profound declaration—that God is their Master and that they belong to Him. In fact, the Bible describes believers as His slaves. They have been bought with a price and now live for Christ as a people for His own possession.

But go into most churches today, even flip through most Bible translations, and you won’t see or hear the word slave anywhere. That’s because it has been lost in translation. In this gripping book, Dr. John MacArthur uses deep Bible teaching and historical evaluation to expertly uncover the one forgotten word that restores the Bible’s definition of true Christian freedom."

The concept of being a slave to Christ was not a new one to me, I am fortunate enough to not belong to "the contemporary evangelical movement (that) has lost its interest in doctrine, (one that) is driven by pragmatic concerns, not theological ones, (one that) worries about what draws a crowd, not about what the Bible says." (pg. 74) My pastor has preached on many occasions a similar call to be a slave to Christ.  MacArthur, however does a phenomenal job of giving a picture of what this truly means.

MacArthur goes into detail of what slavery meant to those that the New Testament was written to, those living in an environment where Roman slavery was the norm.  He explains the difference between the modern view of slavery and that of Roman slavery so that we too can understand what the writers were truly talking about.

Slave is also FULL of scripture references to illustrate his points.  When he talks about how often Jesus used the image of slavery in his parables MacArthur gives you specifics.  In my book this is a definite plus. If you are going to make a point, back it up.

 I also like that MacArthur takes the time to explain what it is to be a slave to Christ and contrasts that with what it is to be a slave to sin.  We are a slave to one or the other and I believe it is important to understand the difference.

The only thing that I was disappointed in was that the Hebrew concept of slavery was never brought out.  The Jews also had slaves, however the Jewish law required that the slaves (sometimes referred to as indentured servants because of this law) be released every 50 years during the year of Jubilee.  This, for me at least, is a beautiful illustration of being a slave for Christ also.  We serve him because he paid our sin debt, but is a servitude with an end in sight, not a burden.  That end is spending eternity with God.

All in all, I felt like this was a great book with many truths in it.  It is one I plan to pass on to my pastor and then add to our church library so that others can learn from it as well.

 This book was received for free from the publisher, however my thoughts are my own and I was not required to post a positive review.