Archives For Book Review

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Where do I start? As always, Tony delivers a great tool he just happens to call a book. I love how each chapter is short and powerful. You can pick it up again and again and flip to where you are having problems and find some great insight. For instance, in Part 1 Chapter 5 Tony deals with structure problems. I found it very helpful because I’m planting two campuses right now and growth is taking place. We are looking to add more structure but it needs to be the right structure.

Tony says this, “The more structures we have to navigate in order to do our work, the more difficult it is to do our best work. When we are required to resolve the dissonance of complex systems, reporting relationships, and accountability structures just in order to get our objectives and check off our direction, we will begin to lose our drive to do brilliant work. Over time,this complexity only pulls entire organizations toward systematic mediocrity.”

I don’t want to end up with systematic mediocrity. Thanks Tony for always keeping it real and giving great advice that you have gained over the years. Thanks for another great book.

Got Porn?

September 13, 2012 — Leave a comment

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Surfing For God by Michael John Cusick is a must read for anyone struggling with the addiction of porn. He openly places his struggles and victories on the table for the reader to see and experience. By sharing his life he addresses many root issues of pornography. In his book, he argues that in today’s society, “When a man surfs the Internet for porn he is really surfing for God.”

Michael deals with the empty promises, personal brokenness and shame in great detail.

Concerning the empty promises he address some of the following issues.

Porn promises validation of our manhood without requiring strength
Porn promises sexual fulfillment without relationship
Porn promises intimacy without requiring risk & suffering
Porn promises passion & life without connection to your soul
Porn promises power over women without responsibility & humility
Porn promises comfort & care without depending on others

Speaking to the issue of personal brokenness he never leaves you without hope of full restoration to God and others. There is a beautiful sense of light at the end of the tunnel. Michael doesn’t sugarcoat anything; he tells it straight about the damage porn does to relationships and to the soul of a man. However, it must be noted again that he paints a great ray of hope to be free. “If you are losing the battle, please read closely: following Jesus consists of so much more than trying harder and white-knuckling your way through it. You can be free.”

As for the issue of shame he writes, “To be naked and unashamed before God meant that Adam and Eve were both free and able to offer to God exactly who they were, without holding anything back or hiding their true selves. They were fully known, just as they were created to be, and they were fully okay with that. This led to an uninhibited intimacy with God and with each other.” (In my opinion this is a great chapter that really stand out. Chapter 6)

In closing I would add that it’s a must read for any man and a must read for the wives of husbands that have struggled with porn. It will help the wife get a better insight into what is really going on at the root of the issue.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Book Description

Learn how God’s grace can and will transform you.

None of us deserves what God offers, a life free from sin and hope for a glorious future, but unbelievably it’s ours for the taking. Why? Because of God’s grace. The unmerited favor, the lavish love and kindness he pours out on us, and has, since Creation.

But if it’s so available then why do we live a graceless life? Why are our churches filled with disillusioned Christians, weary of religion’s demands, struggling with personal defeat because of issues or behaviors?

Join pastor Andy Stanley as he traces grace through the Old and New Testaments, observing God’s grace at work in the lives of some of the best—and worst—characters. He also uses personal stories from his own life to reveal how grace is not a natural response but is the most essential one. Together these stories unravel the mystery of grace and tell of its transforming power to set us free.

My Thoughts

I enjoyed reading Andy’s book very much. It’s a great one to read at night right before you go to bed. Just read a chapter and sleep with Grace on your mind. The book is not deep theology but instead it puts flesh on the deep theological topic of Grace so that it’s easy to embrace. I really enjoyed Chapter 5, Ruled by Grace. Andy makes a beautiful point that, “When we see God’s law the way he intended it, we understand that the grace of God and the law of God are not opposing concepts. There is no tension between the two. One is simply and expression of the other.” In other words what he is teaching us through the law is that the law of God is simply an expression of the grace of God toward each of us that are in the family of God.  For example, Andy says, “By giving Israel the Law…God made it possible for the Hebrew people to live under the rule of law, rather than the rule of man.” I would encourage each of you to get a copy and place it by your bed for great reading at night before falling off to sleep.