Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I love you to God and back

One day at a time, one prayer at a time, a busy working mother and playful six-year-old daughter transformed their bedtime prayers. Like a window into their relationship their prayers and reflections let us witness the growth, enjoy the childlikeness, and learn from their winsome faith. Discover how you and your child can find connection, humour, and a deeper understanding of God in the quiet last few minutes of each day.

I loved the title, and the concept is quite interesting as well. A mother starts recording her daughters nightly prayers, and we are invited to watch as both of their faiths grow before our eyes.

And it works, for a while.  I found the first few chapters interesting, maybe as much as half the book.  There is a good mix of child-like innocence, lessons learned by Mother, and spiritual insight.

However, it gets a bit repetitive.  I guess the best way to explain it is that only the first 20 photos of somebody’s new-born baby are cute.  After a while you want to see something fresh.  Despite the blurb, I did not see a great deal of development from cover to cover.

However I enjoyed it, and most of you probably will as well.  Just don’t expect it to be profound or life-changing.

I received and reviewed a free copy from Thomas Nelson.  Learn more about it here.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Love & Respect Experience

To build this couples devotional, Eggerichs has taken the top concerns that surfaced in a survey of thousands of couples and has developed 52 devotionals around the three cycles that are at the heart of Love and Respect:

I received this book as a free review copy from Thomas Nelson Publishing as part of their Booksneeze programme in exchange for an honest review.

The book is sold as A Husband-Friendly Devotional that Wives Truly Love. The implication here, and throughout the book, is that men are selfish creatures with short attention spans who need to be given short sentences to make them interested in reading. Sorry, but that was how I read it.

What did I like about the book?

  • It is visibly pleasing. It is a soft-cover edition with a genuine imitation leather cover that makes it pleasing to look at, and a stylish addition to my bookshelf. It looks great lying next to my bed.
  • A lot of the philosophy resonated with me and my understanding of male/female dynamics. The essential point that men seek respect and women seek love is a true one I think, and is bourn out in Ephesians 5, and real life.
  • It encourages couples to find their own method of doing bible study and devotion, rather than feeling guilty that they don’t do it a certain way. There are 52 chapters, and we are told to do them in any order. We are also told that it is okay to read them separately and discuss them together later.

Where did I have a problem?

  • It is theologically light. Most of the content is presented as vague pop-psychology and theories with bible verses stretched to “support” the idea.
  • It portrays men and women as being very different, almost irredeemably different, and that we will never fully understand each other.
  • It refers far too much to the authors earlier works, and conferences, and teaching series, and publishes theories. I found it hard to read in the absence of having read his previous works, and he talks about theories and ideas as if we have all read them before and attended a course.

My general conclusion?

This book may work for some people, but I found it a little light on substance and patronising. If you are struggling with traditional devotionals, and want to try something new, maybe it will work for you. For myself, I plan to keep looking for something a little better.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


You can praise God by peeling a spud if you peel it to perfection. Don't compromise. Compromise is a language of the devil. Run in God's name and let the world stand back and in wonder. 

J.D LiddellChariots of Fire

I do not know whether Eric Liddell’s father ever actually said this to him, but I love this quote from Chariots of Fire almost as much as I love the one I have mentioned a few times before…

I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure. – Eric LIddell

Watching the Olympic Games this week, I wonder how many of the athletes would have the courage of their convictions to refuse to run in their best event because it conflicts with their religious beliefs.  The modern attitude is “victory at any cost.”

We all run a race every day.  I wonder how often we feel the pressure to compromise, especially in areas where “it doesn’t really matter.”

And how often we forget who it is we are running for.