Book Reviews From 2022

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I love reading, and I love sharing my love of good books with others! Here is a list of the books I read and reviewed in 2022. Click on a title to be taken to that review.

Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge

Cary Grant

Contending For Our All

Father Sergius

Hank Greenberg: The Story Of My Life

Living In A Gray World

Out Of The Depths

Roots Of Endurance

Simple Truths Of Leadership

Spurgeon And The Psalms

Susanna Wesley

The Holy War

The Legacy Of Sovereign Joy

The Poetry Of Prayer

The Self-Aware Leader

Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance?

Who’s Pushing Your Buttons?

Here are my book reviews for 2011.

Here are my book reviews for 2012.

Here are my book reviews for 2013.

Here are my book reviews for 2014.

Here are my book reviews for 2015.

Here are my book reviews for 2016.

Here are my book reviews for 2017.

Here are my book reviews for 2018.

       Here are my book reviews for 2019.

Here are my book reviews for 2020.

Here are my book reviews for 2021.

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Poetry Saturday—Undying Love

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God hath not promised skies always blue,
   Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;
God hath not promised sun without rain,
   Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.
God hath not promised we shall not know
   Toil and temptation, trouble and woe;
He hath not told us we shall not bear
   Man a burden, many a care.
But God hath promised strength for the day,
   Rest for the laborer, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
   Unfailing sympathy, undying love. —Annie Johnson Flint

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5 Quotes From “The Poetry Of Prayer”

In The Poetry Of Prayer, T.M. Moore not only introduces us to the imaginative poetry of George Herbert, but he also shows us what Herbert was trying to portray: There’s an undiscovered world in our prayer time! You can check out my full book review by clicking here. 

“The imagination is a wonderful if much-neglected resource. It is that place in the soul where mind, heart, and conscience, most fruitfully overlap to enhance, enrich, and enlarge each other. 

“When our imaginations are functioning as God intends, they can open the windows of refreshment into our souls, so that we think bigger and more clearly and excitedly; we feel with more urgency and delight; and we establish new priorities and values. 

“Poetry stretches the imagination by inviting it on to familiar ground and then changing the nature of that ground, right under our feet. Images, metaphors, rhyme, rhythm, and in an agreeable form can lead us, through our imaginations, into seeing familiar things in new and exciting ways.” 

“Prayer fixes the focus of our minds on unchanging spiritual realities. Prayer engages our imaginations—what Paul calls ‘the eyes of your understanding’—with visions of unseen glories and wonders. …

“At the same time, as we gaze in prayer upon the beauty of Christ, and commune with Him in His glory, we find that our hearts are enlarged in love for the Lord. The sheer beauty, majesty, and immensity of God can suck the breath out of us and fill us with the Spirit of the Lord at the same time. Lesser things lose their thrall as we drink in the vision of Christ and pour out heartfelt words of worship, adoration, and praise. These, in turn, exercise our heart in love for the Lord, just as our physical muscles are exercised during a workout.” 

“We feed our souls in prayer when, having entered His presence, we fill our minds with the vision of His glory, our hearts with the joy and pleasure of His presence, and our wills with iron resolve to serve this glorious God at every moment.” 

“Even now, as the Apostle Paul indicates [2 Corinthians 4:6], we who feast at the banquet table of prayer can glimpse the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ and know daily revival and renewal in His grace.” 

“Prayer brings us from earth to heaven, and then brings heaven to earth in our transformed souls and renewed commitments for the day ahead.”

My Patreon supporters have been given all the rest of the quotes I pulled from this book. If you would like to have access to all of the content I regularly share with my Patreon team, please click here. 

The Poetry Of Prayer (book review)

Wow, talk about a win-win for me: The Poetry Of Prayer combines one of my go-to theologians (T.M. Moore) with one of my favorite poets (George Herbert)! In another win, this book opens up a new richness for a Christian’s prayer life. 

George Herbert’s poems hold a unique place in the world of literature[*]. Of the 167 poems in the collection of his poems called The Temple, 116 of them are written with meters that are not repeated. In several instances, Herbert created meters that no poet had used before. In his poem “Poetry (1),” Herbert leans into his poetic prowess to try to capture adequate descriptions of prayer. 

T.M. Moore thinks deeply and writes clearly about how Christians should be saturated in the Bible and prayer. In The Poetry Of Prayer he dissects Herbert’s poem phrase by phrase and invites us to see the awesome potential in prayer that far too often goes untapped. 

In each chapter, Moore helps us examine each of Herbert’s poetic phrases, explore the scriptural references that apply, and consider some “next steps” for applying these principles to our personal prayer time. As you progress through the book, Herbert’s poem takes on deeper and richer meaning so that you should become enthralled with cultivating your own rich prayer time.  

I cannot recommend this book to you strongly enough—a true gem in developing a greater appreciation for the intimacy and power in prayer.

For my Patreon supporters, get ready for a treasure-trove of quotes from this book!

[*] If you would like to know more about George Herbert’s poetry, check out my book review of Seeing Beauty And Saying Beautifully.

Poetry Saturday—T.L.A.C.

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Twisting trunks twirled together
Against all odds, one forever
Limitless love lacks lust
Daily patience is a must
Always affectionate after an accident
What’s the secret? I’ll give a hint
Conceptual curiosity, constant caring compassion
You strive for One, saving no rations
Giving it your all everyday
And to that “Bravo!” I say —Brandon Owens

My son both wrote this poem and painted this piece of artwork.

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Thursdays With Spurgeon—Blessed Discipline

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

Listen to the podcast of this post by clicking on the player below, and you can also subscribe on AppleSpotify, or Audible. 

Blessed Discipline

Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O Lord, and teach out of Your law, that You may give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit is dug for the wicked. For the Lord will not cast off His people, nor will He forsake His inheritance. But judgment will return to righteousness, and all the upright in heart will follow it. (Psalm 94:12-15) 

     First, I will ask you to notice that God’s children are under instruction. Other children may run about and take holiday. They may wander into the woods, gather the flowers, and do very much what they like, but God’s own children have to go to school. This is a great privilege for them, although they do not always think so. Children are not often good judges of what is best for themselves. … 

     Some of us have learned much from the Lord’s chastening rod! For instance, we have learned the evil of sin. ‘Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your Word’ (Psalm 119:67). … Do we not also learn by affliction our own frailty and our own impatience? We are wonderfully patient when we have nothing to suffer, and we are all great heroes and very courageous when there is no fighting to be done. … 

     Do we not, then, learn also the value of prayer? … Do we ever pray in such dead earnest as when everything seems to be sinking from under our feet and our sweetest cups are full of bitterness? … And then how precious the promises become! As we only see the stars when the shadows gather at night, so the promises shine out like newly kindled stars when we get into the night of affliction! …  

     And, oh, dear friends, how should we ever know the faithfulness of God if it were not for affliction? We might talk about it and theoretically understand it, but to try to prove the greatness of Jehovah’s love and the absolute certainty of His eternal faithfulness—this comes not except by the way of affliction and trial! … 

     O Lord, still use the rod if You see that it is necessary. But go on teaching us out of Your Word! We are slow to learn and poor scholars at best, but You may yet make something of us.

From Blessed Discipline

I have learned that there are many lessons that I can learn in no other way than to go through the furnace of affliction. During those dark times, I’ve learned the closeness and the sweetness of God—His presence and His promises became even more precious to me. 

In one of my darkest times of affliction, I stumbled upon this poem from Robert Browning Hamilton:

I walked a mile with Pleasure—
She chattered all the way
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.
I walked a mile with Sorrow
And ne’er a word said she,
But, oh, the things I learned from her
When Sorrow walked with me.

If you’re going through a difficult time, don’t try to get out of it, but get closer into God’s presence. He is teaching you invaluable lessons during this trial.

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Poetry Saturday—The True Aaron

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See Aaron, God’s anointed priest,
Within the veil appear;
In robes of mystic meaning dressed,
Presenting Israel’s prayer.

The plate of gold which crowns his brows,
His holiness describes;
His breast displays, in shining rows,
The names of all the tribes.

With the atoning blood he stands,
Before the mercy-seat;
And clouds of incense from his hands,
Arise with odor sweet.

Urim and Thummim near his heart,
In rich engravings worn;
The sacred light of truth impart,
To teach and to adorn.

Through him the eye of faith descries,
A greater Priest than he;
Thus Jesus pleads above the skies,
For you, my friends, and me.

He bears the names of all His saints,
Deep on His heart engraved;
Attentive to the state and wants
Of all His love has saved.

In Him a holiness complete,
Light and perfections shine;
And wisdom, grace, and glory meet;
A Savior all divine.

The blood, which as a Priest He bears
For sinners, is His own
The incense of His prayers and tears
Perfume the holy throne.

In Him my weary soul has rest,
Though I am weak and vile
I read my name upon His breast,
And see the Father smile. —John Newton [Levitcus 8:7-9]

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Poetry Saturday—All People That On Earth Do Dwell

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All people that on earth do dwell,
sing to the Lord with cheerful voice;
Him serve with fear, His praise forth tell,
come ye before Him and rejoice.

The Lord ye know is God indeed;
without our aid He did us make;
we are His folk, He doth us feed,
and for His sheep He doth us take.

O enter then His gates with praise,
approach with joy His courts unto;
praise, laud, and bless His name always,
for it is seemly so to do.

For why? The Lord our God is good,
His mercy is forever sure;
His truth at all times firmly stood,
and shall from age to age endure. —William Kethe

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Poetry Saturday—Prayer I

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Prayer the Churches banquet, Angels age,
     Gods breath in man returning to his birth,
     The soul in paraphrase, heart in pilgrimage,
The Christian plummet sounding heav’n and earth;

Engine against th’ Almightie, sinners towre,
     Reversed thunder, Christ-side-piercing spear,
     The six-daies world transposing in an houre,
A kinde of tune, which all things heare and fear;

Softnesse, and peace, and joy, and love, and blisse,
     Exalted Manna, gladnesse of the best,
     Heaven in ordinarie, man well drest,
The Milkie way, the bird of Paradise,

Church-bels beyond the starres heard, the souls bloud,
     The land of spices; something understood. —George Herbert (**spelling is 1663 English**)

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Poetry Saturday—They Stand

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They stand at attention saluting our flag,
or they place a hand over their heart.
They’ve stood together on foreign lands,
each one has done their part.
They’ve defended this nation and some have died
to ensure that you’ve kept your rights.
They’ve watched as their buddies fell to the ground,
and they’ve slept in the jungle some nights.
They’ve crawled in the mud while covered with blood,
our children, our daughters, and sons,
and never, not once did they go on strike,
saying they did not get enough funds.
Many days they have gone without sleep
as they fought for this country we love.
Thousands of them have lost their lives
and went with our God up above.
To us, they are heroes, but to them it’s their job,
they do what needs to be done,
defending this country that we so love,
even down to the last one.
We give them a day to memorialize them,
to honor them for all that they do,
but a year would not be honor enough
for the service they give that is true.
Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines,
men and women that are so grand.
They serve this nation of America,
and forever, together they stand. —Barney Fritcher

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