Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Review:The Good News about Marriage

Many of us have heard about the depressing 50% divorce rate for marriages outside and inside the church. But Shaunti Feldhahn believes the rates are actually much lower! After years of investigative reporting and research, she offers paradigm-shifting, rigorously supported information that reveals marriages as stronger, happier, and more committed than most people think. 

I read, and loved The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages, so when I saw this book by Shaunti Feldhan, I was keen to read it.  The premise sounded interesting; that the state of marriage is not in as much trouble as we are led to believe.
This book was just as interesting as the last one, but in a different way.  While the last one focused on how couples have happy marriages, this one is full of facts and statistics to tell us just how many marriages are happy. 

This is a very important book, for a number of reasons.  Firstly, if marriage is not the doomed institution we often believe it to be, maybe couples who were considering marriage will be more likely to actually get married, and not just live together.  Secondly, it offers hope.  Hope to couples already in a marriage that (1) their chances of success are better than they think and (2) if they feel like things are going badly, a lot of couple feel this way for a while, but manage to make it work.  One of the statistics that the book quotes is that couple who feel like their marriage is doomed, and yet persist, often change their mind within 3 years.  This means that if you feel like there is no reason to carry on, there is a light at the end of the tunnel that it might not last forever.  

The book relies very heavily on statistics, and quoting reports and explaining why research and figures might not mean what we think.  If you are not keen on that sort of technical information, this one might be too heavy for you.  There are a lot of tables and lists, and each point is repeated a number of times.

I will probably not be returning to this book to read it again, because it is not that sort of book.  However I will probably be pulling it out to quote and look up facts and figures in future when I have discussions with people about the implications.

You can learn more about the book here, or download the first chapter here.  I received a free e-book copy from WaterBrook Multnomahin exchange for this review.  They are currently running a promotion where if you purchase a copy of this book from anywhere, they will send you another copy for free.

Friday, June 13, 2014

... and so it begins.

If you are on the internet at the moment, there is a good chance that you will have, or will over the next few weeks, experience this…

(via The Oatmeal)

That’s right, it is World Cup 2014, where the world will go mad for a month over football.  Although admittedly for a lot of fans, this is a year-round obsession.  (At least in most of the world.)


Which would have led me into my 5 minute rant about the differences between American Football, and real Football… except that John Cleese stole all my best jokes, and condensed them into less than two minutes, so I will let him cover this one for me.

Over to you John.

Friday, June 6, 2014


If you have not yet seen this little video, then I am not sure that you and I are on the same Facebook.
But unlike some other videos that go viral, this one really is the cutest thing I have seen in a long time.

I am not sure if she is reading this from somewhere, or has the whole story memorised, but I love how she says the people of Nineveh were vain and shellfish, or where he bought livestock through his own labels.


But the way she shows God's anger, and then his love.... is amazing.  I have heard this story thousands of times, and told it hundreds of times, and presented in it Bible Study groups dozens of times.

But this might be the first time I ever felt it.

Just saying.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Review : The Solomon Seduction – Mark Atteberry

_240_360_Book.1165.coverHave you found yourself in circumstances you never envisioned, tangled up with people you never approved of, and doing things you never imagined?

… Solomon was better equipped to see through Satan’s deceptions than any man who has ever lived, other than Jesus. But in the end, he became just as blind to them as everyone else. 

As you may recall, I was a huge fan of Mark Atteberry’s earlier book, Free Refill.  It is one of my favourite books, and one I go back to often.  So when I found this e-book, I downloaded it immediately to see what it was like.

The Solomon Seduction, from Thomas Nelson, is subtitled “What you can learn from the wisest fool in the Bible,” and the premise is simple:  Solomon was one of the people best equipped to deal with temptation, and to keep it at bay… but he allowed sin to creep into his life by compromising his beliefs, giving in to pride and lust, and just generally making trying to fool himself into believing he could handle it.  The book switches between examples from the life of King Solomon, and real life examples of how we too can know when we are being seduced. 

In fact the book is divided into 10 chapter, each called a Wake up Call, and each beginning “You know you are being seduced when…”
… Sin seems like a good idea.
… God’s commandments seem out of touch.
… etc.

I particularly liked the section on how we often try Sin Management as opposed to Sin Avoidance.  Where we try to manage our sin by saying “I can hide this”  or “I can handle this” or “I can stop this from affecting me/my job/my wife by…” as opposed to saying “How can I deal with this and get it out of my life?”

As with the previous book I read, there is nothing profound or new in this book, just honest truths.  It is presented from a Biblical and Christian perspective, but it is also very seeker-friendly.  It is not too heavy, but rather offers good and practical ways to deal with sin and seduction.

I did find it a little less gripping than Free Refill, and I think I am probably less likely to come back to this one again and again. It took me a while to read, which is strange for me, and it did seem a little like they were trying to stretch out less content and make it go further.  There were lots of lists and sub-lists, which made it hard for me to remember where I was and what point we were looking at.

However this could just be because I am not used to reading e-books, so I will give it the benefit of the doubt. 

Not the greatest book I have ever read, but still theologically sound, and extremely relevant.

I received the e-book free from Thomas Nelson Publishing in exchange for an honest review.  Click here to learn more about it, or click here for a sample.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I may have been mistaken

I will admit, that there are certain things in life about which I can be a little bit of a snob.  Although I am sure that Dori would disagree.  She would raise her eyebrow and say “little bit?”

I drink filter coffee and espresso brew rather than cheap coffee.  (And I judge people who call it expresso.)
I turn up my nose, and say “No, but I read the book,” whenever asked about a film adaptation.
And I believe that Kindles and E-Book readers are not the same as real books, and will never replace them.


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Monday, May 19, 2014

If coffee is the answer...

...the question is irrelevant.