From The Library Of A.W. Tozer (book review)

From The Library Of A.W. Tozer is an incredible gift from James Stuart Bell to not only fans of A.W. Tozer, but anyone who loves the spiritual classics.

A.W. Tozer was a prolific and influential author in the Pentecostal evangelical circles beginning in the 1960s, but his writings are still influencing thousands today. In reading Tozer, it is obvious that the Scripture is his first and foremost text, but it is equally as obvious that Tozer was a well-read student of the classics. In this compilation, James Stuart Bell gives us access to Tozer’s library. We can read for ourselves the writings that influenced the fertile and productive mind of Aiden Wilson Tozer.

Nicely arranged in eight broad sections, you will read the profound thoughts of Augustine, John Bunyan, Martin Luther, William Law, Charles Spurgeon, Dwight Moody, A.B. Simpson, and G. Morgan Campbell, to name just a few of my favorites. This is a book that you will not only pick up often, but one that will whet your appetite to read more of these classic works yourself.

A wonderful read!

I am a Bethany House book reviewer.

Thursdays With Oswald—Trials

This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.


Christianity is drawing on the overflowing favor of God in the second of trial.

From Facing Reality

So you see, the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials. (2 Peter 2:9)

Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life. (James 1:12)

In the moment of your trial, God is right there in the thick of it with you. He will bring you through. Draw on God’s overflowing favor and hang in there!

Basketball Evangelism

Basketball’s creator James Naismith

In preparing for our Salt & Light series which starts this Sunday, I’ve been reviewing the different places in my life where I can season and illuminate my world. It’s pretty simple:

  • In order to season like salt, we have to get out of the saltshaker.
  • In order to shine like light, we have to uncover our brightness.
  • And we have to be around people who need seasoning and illumination.

One of my favorite workout activities is playing basketball, so I absolutely loved reading a story about why James Naismith created this fun sport.

You can read the full article from the Wall Street Journal here, but this passage especially jumped out at me:

Convinced that he could better exemplify the Christian life through sports than in the pulpit, he moved to Springfield, Mass., to serve as a physical-education instructor at the Young Men’s Christian Association’s International Training School for Christian Workers (now Springfield College). Naismith’s vision? “To win men for the Master through the gym.”

To win men for the Master through the gym.

What if we looked at every activity in our lives like that?

  • To win people for the Master through playing on the football team.
  • To win people for the Master through being a valuable employee.
  • To win people for the Master through getting involved with the PTA.
  • To win people for the Master through developing a friendly relationship with my neighbors.
  • To win people for the Master through becoming a model student.

Finish the sentence for your life…

I can win people for the Master through _________________________.

Let us all work on finding innovative ways to win people for the Master!

Salt & Light

Jesus called His followers to be salt and light in the world. He said:

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

We have been placed in this world to season it and to illuminate it. What does that mean? How do we do that in a way that glorifies your Father in heaven?

I’m really excited to kickoff our new series Salt & Light this Sunday morning. I hope you can join me at 10:30am to learn more about being seasoning and illumination.

Costly Grace (book review)

Jon Walker comes out swinging with his timely book Costly Grace. This book is subtitled “A contemporary view of Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship,” and it makes Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s challenging book come alive for a whole new generation.

“Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the Cross.” —Dietrich Bonhoeffer

If you have previously read Bonhoeffer’s classic work, you will appreciate the way Jon makes The Cost Of Discipleship understandable to this generation. He does this with watering down Bonhoeffer’s tone at all.

If you haven’t read The Cost Of Discipleship, Jon’s book should be just the primer you need to dive into Bonhoeffer.

In either case, be prepared: Costly Grace is no easy read. You will probably feel like your toes are being stepped on, and that Jon (and Bonhoeffer) are being too unreasonably difficult. This is a serious read for serious disciples of Jesus Christ. So if you are ready to step into a more mature walk with Christ, Costly Grace is an excellent place to start.

I am an ACU Press/Leafwood Publishers book reviewer.

1-on-1 Time

I love my 1-on-1 time with my kids. It’s wonderful when we can spend time together as a family, but there is something special about the times I can zero-in on just one of my kids at a time.

Harrison and I read Seven Habits Of Highly Effective Teens awhile ago, and now Samantha and I are working our way through it together. Brandon is just beginning to get into some serious reading, and right now we are discussing the situations in which Frank and Joe Hardy find themselves in The Hardy Boys series.

It doesn’t have to be over a book. Go for a walk … schedule a daddy-daughter date … play some basketball on the driveway … debrief the life lessons you just watched in a movie … play a video game.

Listen to this Dad and Mom: It doesn’t really matter what you’re doing together, as long as you are doing it together. Not what you want to do, but what they want to do. Get involved in their lives. The precious time you invest 1-on-1 with your kids will make all the difference in the world!

Bringin’ It!

Everywhere you go today, you will be bringing something.

What is it?

Compassion … Empathy … Servanthood … Encouragement … A smile?


Disinterest … Apathy … Selfishness … Discouragement … A frown?

Lord, make me a channel of Thy peace, that
where there is hatred, I may bring love;
where there is wrong, I may bring forgiveness;
where there is discord, I may bring harmony;
where there is error, I may bring truth;
where there is doubt, I may bring faith;
where there is despair, I may bring hope;
where there are shadows, I may bring light;
where there is sadness, I may bring joy. —Francis of Assisi

So what are you going to bring today?

Overloaded Recap

We all have times that life feels overwhelming. Like there is too much to do, but not enough of us (or our time, or our money, or our willpower, or…) to accomplish what we need to. In a word: we are overloaded.

I just finished a 4-part series about God’s ways for finding relief for our overloaded lives, and I thought this quick recap might be helpful.

If you’re feeling OVERLOADED, remember…

Less Is More

When the “less” is stuff, the “more” is relationships.

Off Makes On Better

A day OFF (a Sabbath) helps you appreciate ON more.

Study To Be Quiet

Tune out all the noise so you can tune in to God’s voice.

Trust God First

Give God the first 10% of your income and enjoy His blessing.

Sanctuary Needed

Why is it that a bad morning at school follows you and becomes a bad afternoon at home?

Why is that a bad day at work follows you and becomes a bad evening at home?

We all have a tendency to hang on to things. But the problem is we end up taking out our problems on those who didn’t create the problem. In other words, our family takes the heat from us because we know they will still love us, even after we unload on them. So we make our problem their problem.

Yes, we all need someone to listen to us vent when we’ve had a bad day, or we’ve been snubbed by someone, or we’ve gotten an after-school detention, or we’ve been chewed out by the boss. But venting is different from transferring. Venting is when we express our hurts to someone who loves us; transferring is when we take out our hurts on someone who loves us.

Dr. Richard Dobbins gave some wise counsel on how to avoid doing this:

“Develop the mental and spiritual ability to put space between your workplace [or school] and your home life. Treat your home life like a sanctuary. Don’t bring the feelings created by being treated unfairly in the workplace [or school] home with you.”

Maybe this will help you. Here’s what I do: I have created a boundary line (in my case it’s a road) over which bad attitudes created during the day cannot cross. As I approach home I remind myself that my family was not who gave me trouble, so I’m not going to bring my trouble home to them. If I need to, I’ll stop my car and sit for a few minutes before I cross that boundary, just to make sure my attitude is right before I cross that boundary line.

Where’s your boundary? Where can you make some space, so that your home becomes (and remains) a sanctuary?

Setting A Good Example

Last week I told you about how proud (and humbled) I was by Brandon’s aware-winning essay. The story was covered in the Cedar Springs Post, and you can read it here.

Brandon is wearing a blue shirt, fifth in from the right (in front of his proud parents!).

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