Book Reviews From 2015

Links & Quotes

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“You have heard many men’s dying words, and these are mine: A life spent in communion with God is the pleasantest life in the world.” —Matthew Henry, to a friend when near his death

“By the serpent’s seed, we are to understand the devil and all his children, who are permitted by God to tempt and sift His children. But, blessed be God, he can reach no further than our heel.” —George Whitefield

Anyone working with youth should keep close tabs on what Dr. Tim Elmore has to say, as he is very tuned-in to the youth culture. Parents / coaches / teachers / youth pastors, check out 7 Shifts As Generation Y Becomes Generation Z.

3 reasons why heterosexual married sex is better is a good read. But I would add a fourth reason: Because this is the way God intended it to be, so it carries His blessing!

Pastor and church leaders, here is a helpful article from Richard Hammer, lead counsel for the Assemblies of God, following the Supreme Court’s wrongheaded decision on the issue of homosexual “marriage.”

Trip Lee talks about help for people battling a struggle with pornography. Trip discusses this in more depth in his outstanding book Rise. Check this out—

Trip Lee on Sex, Marriage & Pornography

RiseTrip Lee’s book Rise is a great resource to put into the hands of a young person, but even better would be for teacher or parent or youth pastor to read it and discuss it with them. A huge issue young people deal with is their own sexuality, along with what the culture says about marriage and pornography. Check out this insight from Trip—

“Our world often treats sex as if it’s the greatest thing life has to offer us. It puts an incredible amount of pressure on us to explore and experienced everything as soon as we can. And they treat it like the experience is an end in itself. While it is an amazing gift, sex is certainly not an end in itself. It’s a glorious chapter of a much bigger and more glorious story. But by elevating it above everything else and separating it from it’s beautiful intended purposes, we actually lower its value and degrade it.”

“Marriage is a masterful illustration, and when we have sex outside of marriage, we’re messing with the clearest picture God’s embedded into creation of His love for His people. Marriage is a parable we get to take part in, so a lot is at stake with your purity.”

“When you look at porn, you’re rejecting God and His plan. You’re saying, ‘God, I know this person is not my spouse and I’m not meant to look at them with lust, but I refuse to except that. I will look at them this way, whether You like it or not.’” 

“Building habits of sexual sin is not something that can just be turned off easily after you say your vows. We shouldn’t imagine that the monster lurking in your soul will go dormant the minute you kiss your bride or groom.”

“Porn gives us a distorted view of the opposite sex. Those people whose bodies are captured in images on your computer screen or smartphones are made in the image of God. You’re objectifying them. You’re insulting God. You’re treating His image with disdain and perversion. You’re supporting an evil industry that destroys lives and marriages. You’re supporting an industry that is known to enslave and manipulate young women. Instead of caring for the weak, hurting, and confused, you’re supporting their pain and confusion. You’re encouraging them in it. With each click, you’re giving it a thumbs-up. Instead of seeing them how God sees them, you’re looking at them through broken lenses.”

You can read my review of Rise by clicking here.

You can check out more quotes from Rise by clicking here.

12 Quotes From “Rise”

RiseTrip Lee has given parents, teachers and anyone who mentors teens and 20-somethings an excellent resource in his book Rise. I read this book for myself, and now I’m reading it and discussing it with my teenage son. You can read my full book review by clicking here. Below are just a few of the quotes I especially appreciated in Rise.

“There are great benefits to living for Jesus in the present. Now is the time when we have the most strength. Now is the time when we have the most energy. Now is the time when we can give it everything we have. Now is the time to get up and live.”

“Every decision we make is a small piece of a larger puzzle. And without looking at the big picture for reference, we’ll place the pieces incorrectly every time. It’s tragic to treasure a moment in time more than an entire lifetime.”

“It’s loving of me to stop my son when he tries to put his finger in a socket or put a penny in his mouth. It’s loving of Jesus to tell me to say no to myself when I’m doing the wrong thing. … Let’s be clear, though. He’s not saying you can’t be yourself. He’s not calling you to ignore your personality and abandon your interests. Instead, He’s saying, ‘Submit all those things to Me.’ Your personality and your interests are His, and following Him shapes those things to bring you joy and bring God glory.” 

“One of our problems is that we think we belong to ourselves. Our assumption is that we are the masters of our lives and we get to make all the big decisions. That’s a myth. I belong to God. First, because He created me (Psalm 139:13), and second, because He purchased me (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). And that has serious implications for how I invest each hour of my day. I don’t have the right to rob God of time.”

“We allow our desire for approval to push us in directions we wouldn’t go otherwise. The answer is to be more content with the acceptance of Jesus, while praying that God would make us more passionate about pleasing Him than pleasing other people. … One of the quickest ways to ensure compromise is to obsess over what other people think of you.”

“Confession of sin can only be perceived as your enemy if you have a goal other than God’s glory. If your goal is your glory, then confessing your sin works against that goal and therefore should be avoided. But if you’re living for the glory of God, confessing your sin to the right people will only help.”

“With Christians or non-Christians, when we pretend, we are using them instead of loving them. Instead of saying or doing what would be most beneficial for them, we say or do what makes us look good. We’re using them to get to that end goal, the magical feeling of acceptance and approval, that sweet ego stroke. And that will eventually crush us and crush them.”

“The mature Christian doesn’t just ask, ‘What can I do?’ but ‘What can I do to glorify God?’”

“A Christian’s job is to live in such a way that shows off the real Jesus, the all-powerful, Almighty, sinner-loving King of the universe.”

“One of the reasons we struggle is because we forget that Jesus is the Lord of all. When I say Lord of all, I don’t just mean Lord of all people; I mean Lord of all things and spheres of life. It’s easy for us to section off our lives into little quadrants. There’s the fun stuff, the family stuff, the boring stuff, and the spiritual stuff. But the Bible doesn’t recognize any area of our lives that’s not spiritual. God made every sphere of life, He rules over every sphere of life, and He can be glorified in every sphere of life. This means everything is sacred.”

“The symptom of an encounter with the compassion of Jesus is compassion for others.”

“People go to hell because they haven’t seen the glory of God in the Gospel and trusted in Christ. Seeing the glory of God matters, and we want them to see it. Where the glorious light of Christ is not seen, sins are not forgiven and souls are not saved. This is why we share the Good News. The end goal of evangelism is that people would see the glory of God and worship Him forever.”

Rise (book review)

RiseI first knew of Trip Lee as a talented musician, but I have to admit that when I first heard he had written a book I had no idea what to expect. I am happy to say that Rise blew me away!

Trip himself states that his main target audience is teenagers and those in their early- to mid-twenties. Certainly the material in Rise is age-appropriate for them, but I found it to be challenging and confronting and reaffirming for me too. Trip’s message—as the title of the book suggests—is a call for Christians to not simply “go with the cultural flow,” but rise up to let Jesus be seen in a culture desperately searching for truth.

Trip talks about attitudes, involvement in church, sharing our Christian faith with others, having a great work ethic, and so many other topics that are relevant to young people. Perhaps I felt it relevant to me as well because of my work with students. In that case, I have two recommendations for this book: (1) Give it as a gift to those in Trip’s target audience (teens and 20-somethings), and (2) Get a copy for yourself and read/study/discuss the ideas in this book with the teens and 20-year-olds to whom you gave a copy. I really believe this will pay excellent dividends!

I am a Thomas Nelson book reviewer.

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