Book Reviews From 2015

3 Quotes From Rick Warren On Christmas

On This Holy NightI have been sharing quotes from On This Holy Night all week. It’s an excellent book from six insightful authors—John Maxwell, Bill Hybels, Max Lucado, Rick Warren, David Jeremiah, and Jack Hayford—that will open your eyes to the beauty of the Advent. Here are some quotes from Rick Warren’s chapter entitled “What Will You Find At Christmas?”

“What are you going to find this Christmas? I’ll tell you what you’re going to find: you’ll find what you’re looking for. … And there’s no better time than Christmas to become the kind of seekers the wise men embodied. Wise people still seek Christ.”

“Real peace is knowing that no matter what I do, God will never stop loving me. Real peace is knowing that no matter what happens, God will never leave me alone. He’ll always be with me. Real peace means that no matter what happens in the New Year, or in the years to come, I know that God is going to give me the strength to handle it. Real peace is living by God’s Word, the Bible, so I can avoid a lot of the needless hang-ups and hurts and habits that mess up my life.”

“Religion is just man’s attempt to get to God. Relationship is when you get to know Jesus Christ in a personal way and He becomes a Friend.”

You can also read other quotes I’ve shared from On This Holy Night:

And be sure to check out my review of On This Holy Night here.

2 Quotes From Jack Hayford On God’s Favor

On This Holy NightI really enjoyed On This Holy Night! The unique perspective from six talented authors gives a freshness to the Christmas story. Jack Hayford wrote a very intriguing chapter called “I Wish You A ‘Mary’ Christmas,” and I have shared two of his quotes for you.

“We tend to think of virginity only in terms of innocence and purity. Of course those terms are appropriate, but Mary’s virginity did not provide an earned holiness to which God might respond with a miracle. If we think the Mary Miracle can only work in us if we are innocent, pure, and untouched, then most of us will give up and go home. I’m not talking about whether you have been tarnished or sullied in the sexual dimension. That’s not the point. All of us have been marred in numerous ways by our sin and weakness. Mary’s virginity is telling us this today: we don’t have to be pure, innocent, or untarnished to receive the miracle. Mary’s virginity represents the impossibility, humanly speaking, of life coming forth. We need to see her virginity as a picture of the hopelessness of the situation.”

“I discovered that the verb translated ‘highly favored’ [Luke 1:28] is only used two times in the whole New Testament. It’s used for Mary: ‘You are highly favored.’ … But it’s also in Ephesians 1:6, which says you are ‘accepted in the Beloved.’ … The same thing that was said of Mary is also said of us. And that brings with it the same possibilities and the same miracle presence, because the same degree of favor is present. You and I are highly favored!”

You can also read other quotes I’ve shared from On This Holy Night from John Maxwell, Bill Hybels, Max Lucado, and David Jeremiah, and you can read my book review here.

2 Poems + 1 Quote On Jesus From David Jeremiah

On This Holy NightOn This Holy Night is a great pre-Christmas read, to help you focus your thoughts for your celebration of the First Advent. I’ve been sharing some of the quotes from this book. David Jeremiah wrote a chapter entitled “Thou Shalt Call His Name Jesus.” Here’s a quote from Pastor Jeremiah, and two poems he shared.

“Did you know that in the Gospels, God’s Son is called by the name Jesus over 500 times? In fact, the word Jesus appears throughout the New Testament 909 times. You get the impression that it’s the favorite and most endearing term for our Lord. Of all of the names and of all the titles that are given to Christ, the one most beloved by His followers is that simple name, Jesus.”

Jesus, the name high over all.
In hell, on earth and sky.
Angels and man before it fall;
And devils fear and fly.
Jesus, oh the magic
Of the soft love sound.
How it thrills and trembles
To creation’s bound. —Anonymous

There is majesty in the name of God.
There is personality in the name Jehovah.
There is power in the name Lord.
There is unction in the name Christ.
There is affinity in the name Immanuel.
There is intercession in the name Mediator.
There is help in the name Advocate.
But there is salvation none other,
None under heaven given among men,
Apart from the name Jesus.
An Alexander may build an empire.
A Napoleon make change the nations of the world.
A Newton may bring about an intellectual revolution.
An Edison may create a new world for science.
A Wyatt may usher in a new era of industry.
There is only One who can touch and transform the human heart.
And that One is Jesus. —Anonymous

I’ve also shared quotes from this book from John Maxwell, Bill Hybels, and Max Lucado. And you can read my review of On This Holy Night here.

On This Holy Night (book review)

On This Holy NightHere’s a great book to get you ready to celebrate Christmas: On This Holy Night. Just when you thought you had heard the Christmas story from every angle, six brilliantly insightful authors open our eyes to a fresh look at the First Advent.

John Maxwell, Bill Hybels, Max Lucado, David Jeremiah, Rick Warren and Jack Hayford are no strangers to millions of book readers around the globe. Their books have been so well received because of the unique insights they bring to everything they write.

In On This Holy Night, we are given a fresh look at the stable, the wise men, Joseph, Mary, and, of course the Messiah Jesus. I would encourage you to read a chapter each day during the countdown to your Christmas celebration, to help you really see the true meaning of Christ’s birth at Bethlehem.

I am a Thomas Nelson reviewer.

Over the next five days, I will be sharing some quotes from this book from Maxwell, Hybels, Lucado, Jeremiah, Warren and Hayford, so be sure to check back each afternoon this week.

Book Reviews From 2013

8 Quotes From “I Never Thought I’d See The Day

I Never Thought I'd See The DayYou can read my book review of Dr. David Jeremiah’s I Never Thought I’d See The Day by clicking here. These are eight quotes that especially caught my attention in this book. Unless the quotes are otherwise attributed, they are from Dr. Jeremiah.

“I’ve shaken my fist in anger at stalled cars, storm clouds, and incompetent meteorologists. I’ve even, on one terrible day, that included a dead alternator, a blaring tornado-warning siren, and a horribly wrong weather forecast, cursed all three at once. I’ve fumed at furniture, cursed at crossing guards, and held a grudge against Gun Barrel City, Texas. I’ve been mad at just about anything you can imagine.

“Except unicorns. I’ve never been angry at unicorns.

“It’s unlikely you’ve ever been angry at unicorns either. We can become incensed by objects and creations both animate and inanimate. We can even, in a limited sense, be bothered by the fanciful characters in books and dreams. But creatures like unicorns that don’t exist—that we truly believe not to exist—tend not to raise our ire. We certainly don’t blame the one-horned creatures for our problems.

“The one social group that takes exception to this rule is atheists. They claim to believe that God does not exist and yet, according to empirical studies, tend to be the people most angry at Him.” —Joe Carter

“While the atheist arrogantly persists in the delusion that his reason is fully capable of figuring out all that there is, the religious believer lives in the humble acknowledgment of the limits of human knowledge, knowing that there is a reality greater than, and beyond, that which our senses and minds can ever apprehend.” —Dinesh D’Souza

“God brought two perfect, sinless people together in the Garden of Eden, a man and a woman who knew the perfect love of God. They did not get married to find love but to walk together in the unity and purpose God created them to fulfill: the primary task of birthing and raising the next generation. And in the process, love happened.”

“It is significant that while Adam was single, satan did not approach him or tempt him to disobey God. He waited until after Adam’s marriage to launch his attack. You would think it easier to attack one person instead of two, but by waiting he was able to attack not just an individual, but also God’s foundational building block for harmony and stability—marriage. By attacking marriage, he was able to create division and disharmony between humans themselves as well as between humans and God.”

“The oneness found in marriage is the same kind of oneness found in the Trinity.”

“We can be lulled into complacency by adopting uncritically the principle of submission to government on the assumption that the Christian history of our nation makes it safe to let our leaders do our thinking for us. But we cannot do this in our post-Christian nation where God’s Word is being marginalized. Nothing could be more dangerous for Christians and churches than to wander thoughtlessly down this path of increasing biblical indifference—a path that could well lead to a place where the Bible is not merely marginalized, but banned outrightly.”

“If the Church is being ignored because we preach the message of ‘Jesus Christ and Him crucified’ (1 Corinthians 2:2), or because the Gospel has become ‘a stumbling stone and rock of offense’ (Romans 9:33) to the world, that’s one thing. But if we are deemed irrelevant because we’re an anemic version of the world’s entertainment options or because we aren’t playing the world’s game nearly as well as the world does, then that’s another thing. That’s a tragedy.”

“William Tyndale wisely sought to avoid the confusion between ‘Church” and ‘church’ by translating ekklesia as ‘congregation’ instead of ‘church.’ …We must maintain a clean understanding of the difference between Church and church—and the priority of the former over the latter. Church buildings can necessitate huge investments of resources for construction and maintenance, and they are only temporary. Keeping the focus on people is the biblical priority and will result in the Church’s remaining relevant.”

I Never Thought I’d See The Day (book review)

I Never Thought I'd See The DayThe subtitle of Dr. David Jeremiah’s book is the most telling—I Never Thought I’d See The Day: Culture At The Crossroads. It is true that our American culture is at a crossroads, and decisions will have to be made now that could very well effect the direction of the church, and of this nation.

As a side note, I have a bit of an issue with the title of the book. To think we’d never see the day where our culture was sliding away from God’s standard is a bit of hyperbole. Any student of history knows that cultures have always gone through such things many, many times. What is true with American culture now has been true with other cultures, in other eras, on other continents. However, this by no means that Dr. Jeremiah has misdiagnosed where America is now.

Before a cure can be realized, a patient must first know he is sick. Then he must go to a doctor and be willing to follow the prescribed course of treatment. In many ways, Americans know something’s “not quite right” with our society, but have been unable to pinpoint the root cause. Dr. Jeremiah correctly diagnoses an American culture that has become increasingly humanistic, antagonistic toward Jesus, pluralistic, and obstinate toward the teachings of the Bible. In each chapter, Dr. Jeremiah diagnoses one symptom of our disease, and lays out a God-honoring cure.

Here’s the million dollar question: Will we follow the course of treatment?

In the last chapter, Dr. Jeremiah says,

I am pessimistic about man’s ability, independent from his Creator-God, to solve the problems he creates—especially problems of enormous scale such as those our nation and the world face today. I am, however, an optimist about God. And it is toward Him that we must turn our attention….

I Never Though I’d See The Day is a sobering read. Each chapter shows us just how far from God we’ve slid (that’s the pessimistic part), but then Dr. Jeremiah lays out a plan to bring us back to a God-fearing society (that’s the optimistic part). It’s a very interesting read which I especially think church leaders and God-fearing civic leaders must read.

I am a Faith Words book reviewer.

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