Wednesday, May 16, 2018


Packaging



The Bad Habits of Jesus

Showing Us The Way To Live Right
In A World Gone Wrong


In the Introduction, the author Leonard Sweet reminds us that: "Even though Jesus was God's son, he had habits and behaviors that were considered bad in the eyes of the culture of his day. Some of them seem wrong even today. All of Jesus' 'bad habits,' however, reveal truth's about God's love and message that are vital for us."

There are fifteen lively chapters that describe the often "offensive and scandalous Jesus described in the Bible." Len Sweet credits his three youngest 'kids, Egil, Soren, and Thane' with learning to think and speak in today's new vernacular. Among the chapter titles:  Jesus ... Spit ... Offended People, Especially in High place ... Told Stories That Didn't Make Sense ... Loved to Party ... Broke The Rules ... Focused on the Little Things in Life ... Thought He Was God ... and my momentary favorite ...  Jesus Procrastinated (Chapter Two). 

The Bad Habits of Jesus, has occupied a place on my desk since it pre-publication arrival in 2016. Writing this review has been placed on many of my TO-DO-LIST over these last many months, but it wasn't until yesterday that I (finally!)made it my priority and I'm glad I did. A deceptively easy read, there much to enjoy and take away from this book. 

In my case, I was reminded in Chapter Two that: "Jesus didn't procrastinate due to slackness or indecision or perfectionism or fear of moving forward. Jesus delayed doing what he wanted or needed to do because the timing wasn't right, because he was telling time by his Father's clock and making the most of the time his Father had given him. Jesus stalled because 'there is a proper time and procedure for every matter.' High procrastination for Jesus was less about putting off doing things than about waiting for the right moment to do things, which often conflicted with the timetables and schedules of everyone else.

Disciples of Jesus with this bad habit will be hard to predict because we are constantly being created anew and sent to do things we had no intention of doing....  

Or as Mabel Boggs Sweet said: "God's clock keeps perfect time."

Professor Sweet reminds us: "Teresa of Avila once heard Christ say to her in prayer, '"See yourself in me." When we find ourselves in Christ, we start to find Christ ourselves and each other. Life falls into place when Jesus gets first place. Life is what you make it. Abundant life is what Jesus makes it. Only a right relationship with Christ will right the world. And a good way to get that relationship started and keep it going is to make his habits our own. Even his bad habits. Especially his bad habits.


A discussion guide is included. Also, a Notes Chapter containing relevant footnotes. Thank you, Dr. Sweet and Tyndale, for the opportunity to read and review this book. I've enjoyed sharing my humble and honest response to the work. 

Patricia A. Punt
May 16, 2018



Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A 'Colorful' Advent with Nancy Guthrie

All Is Bright, A Devotional Journey to Color Your Way to Christmas

By Nancy Gutherie


“The perfect gift for the Creatives and coloring – book lovers in your life!...”

This year Tyndale House Publishers has added a unique ‘colorful’ devotion to help all of us celebrate Advent and the Birth of Jesus. If you’re a fan of the Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest you’ll appreciate Nancy Guthrie’s beautiful designs. So grab some colored pencils and schedule time to really get into the holiday spirit. Here’s an opportunity to start a brand new family tradition!

--Patricia A. Punt


Note: Tyndale House Publishers send me a complimentary copy of this book. The words contained in this review are my own.

Finding Friendship In Today's Hectic World

Befriend
Create Belonging in an Age of Judgment, Isolation, and Fear

By Scott Sauls



“It is best to befriend those now who we hope to be his friend for all eternity,” says Ann Voskamp, who wrote the foreword to Befriend. “I don’t know if there is anyone better qualified to write this book than Scott Sauls because I don’t know a man who better incarnates the crucified Christ to everyone he meets.”  (Forward by Ann Voskamp)

Scott Sauls makes “A Case For Befriending” in the opening chapter because while real friendship can be hard to find, especially today when folks are often overworked, over-worried, and even overwhelmed, we really do need to be clear what it means to befriend.

Building real friendships – “the multilayered kind that exposes us to the grit of our own and each other’s lives; the kind that positions us to love across the lines of our differences; the kind that leads us to lay down our lives for each other’s sake” – takes time, effort and energy, love and forgiveness, knowledge and determination and maybe even a little bit of luck and a whole lot of grace.

In Summary: “Energy to serve God, and love our neighbor comes not through human effort, but by resting in the finished work of Jesus, contemplating his goodness, and receiving his grace and truth.”

Despite our best efforts some friendships will fail (we’re not talking about the online friends who can dismiss us with a quick ‘unfriend.’) Here the author reminds us that there is one intimate relationship that “believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. It never fails.”

Befriend, a collection of twenty essays based on actual relationships including the one with Jesus is the second book by Sauls, Senior Pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee. Pastor Sauls is husband to Patti and dad to Abby and Ellie. You can find Scott on Twitter at @scottsauls.

Note: This book would be a valuable tool to use in a Christian book discussion group. At the end of each chapter the author includes a summary, scripture references, and thoughts to be considered.

Notice: Tyndale House Publishers has provided a complimentary copy of this book. The words contained in this review are my own.


--Patricia Punt

Saturday, September 10, 2016

One of the Few by Jason B. Ladd


  
U.S. Marine fighter pilot Jason Ladd shares the compelling story of his life and Christian world-view in this 2016 Indie Book Award Finalist. 

Part memoir (he is the son of a combat veteran, husband to Karry and father of five, a spiritual seeker), part action adventure story (military dependent living in the California desert, Florida, North Carolina and Japan, Navy Flight School graduate, Iraqi veteran, man on a mission), part textbook on comparing Christian traditions and beliefs, One of the Few is an highly informative and deeply thoughtful account of one man’s transformative and very personal journey.

Jason uses Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Code of Conduct for Members of the United States Armed Forces as a model for just living when faced with the enemy. The Code of Conduct he quickly reminds us is built upon principles which are contained in the Bible. (see Code of the US Fighting Force, Chapter 25 Never Surrender)

“If you allow Christ to change you from the inside out, everything becomes new. You will lead better, and you will love better – your spouse, your children, and your brothers and sister both in and out of Christ. You will not be deceived, and you will receive the power to ‘fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience.” (I Timothy 1:18-19).

“If you seek God, you will find him. If you seek truth, you will not be deceived. If you remain ready to defend your faith, you will fulfill one of God’s commandments, help Christians better understand their own faith, assist with the soul-saving work of God, (and) counter the negative image of Christianity in the media and culture….” Jason B. Ladder.


One of the Few is an amazon.com best seller and is available in Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle and Audible from amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.

FTC Full Disclosure - The author sent me a copy of this book, hoping I would review it. 

Reading

One of the Few