Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Book Review: Secrets of Intercessory Prayer

The Secrets of Intercessory Prayer
By Jack Hayford
Chosen Books, 2012
English, 176 pages


From the Back Cover

See Your Prayers Answered!

Here are the keys to unlocking effective intercessory prayer. With encouragement, powerful testimonies and keen biblical guidance, pastor and bestselling author Jack Hayford offers the insight you need to pray more effectively for God's grace, goodness and power in the lives of those you love. Pastor Jack also reveals how to

-answer God's divine invitation to partnership

-apply the basic promises of God to prayer

-launch a counterattack against the enemy

-help bring about victory in others' lives

-pray for someone you'd rather not pray for

-and more

Regardless of the situation, you can pray with rightful authority, perseverance and confidence. Stand in the gap for those you love and watch God's answers come.

I have no problems with what Pastor Hayford says in any part of this book. However, it's a pretty dry read. There are several parts where I feel like I have no idea what he was writing about and had to re-read it several times just to get through it. It's not a terribly difficult concept, but a very difficult book to read.

I felt like the book never really got to the point of the title. It tells you lots of things that are revealed in Scripture regarding prayer but doesn't give you really any tips or help to learn to pray yourself. I think the addition of a study/prayer guide would have been very helpful.

I received a copy of the book from Chosen Books in exchange for an honest review. No additional compensation has been received.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Book Review: Understanding Theology in 15 Minutes a Day

Understanding Theology in 15 Minutes a Day
By Daryl Aaron
Bethany House, 2012
English, 224 pgs


From the Back Cover

An Easy-to-Use Guide to Christian Theology

Theology can be intimidating, even overwhelming. Where do you start? How is it important to the Christian life? What are the key topics that you need to understand? How do you make time to study something so complex without going to Bible college or seminary?

In Understanding Theology in 15 Minutes a Day, professor and former pastor Daryl Aaron answers forty critical questions about the Christian faith. Arranged by topic, you can choose the areas that interest you or systematically read through the book. Each section is short and easy to understand. You'll come away with a deeper faith as you learn about the nature of God, heaven, the Bible, church, and even yourself.

This book is well organized and easy to read. It has 40 questions which Dr. Aaron answers with about 4-5 pages each. The topics range from angels to sin to baptism and so far beyond...

My husband is a pastor and has been able to use this both in sermon preparation as well as for his graduate level classes.

As far as one of the more difficult theological questions to explain, the Trinity, the explanation is clear and has explanations from the Nicene Creed as well as explanations of what some have tried to use to explain the Trinity. It's a hard concept but this explanation would be really helpful for someone who is just starting to learn about God and why Christians believe in the Trinity of God.

There is a question, What is Sin? that we have been finding useful in explaining the concept to our oldest son. The way Dr. Aaron writes is easy enough for even him to understand (he's 6) but complex enough for an adult to get "meat" out of it as well.

I received a review copy of the book from Bethany House in exchange for a review. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Book Review: 90 Devotions for Kids

90 Devotions for Kids (Adventures in Odyssey)
Focus on the Family
Tyndale House, 2012
English, 258 pgs
Available October 1, 2012

Written by the Adventures in Odyssey team, 90 Devotions for Kids provides fun, Bible-based devotions for families and will encourage children to spend time learning more about God. There are no better mentors than Whit and the folks from Odyssey to partner with parents as they teach their children about God’s Word and make the truths of the Bible accessible to their kids.

AIO’s 90 Devotions for Kids includes thirteen weeks of devotions. Sidebars from Odyssey favorites Wooton, Whit, Connie, and Eugene provide friendly suggestions for life applications. Each week has an individual theme and will include an overview to introduce the theme, seven devotions that reference AIO dramas, and an activity, puzzle, or game to reinforce the core biblical truths taught during the week. Parents will find the tools they need to help start children on a path toward regular time alone with God, and families will be encouraged to spend time together as they share the daily readings.

From the Back Cover

Discover, Imagine, Grow!
Join Whit, Connie, Eugene, Wooton, and your other friends from the exciting world of Odyssey and DISCOVER tried-and-true biblical truths— like salvation, prayer, and forgiveness, and many others—that form the core values of Christianity.

Through historical stories, modern biography, Bible adventures, and key scenes from Adventures in Odyssey radio dramas, you’ll IMAGINE what it’s like to be a hero of the faith.

As you read each inspiring entry alone or with your family, you’ll be informed and challenged to GROW in your walk with God. Each devotion features a relevant Bible verse.

Special Features for Each Theme
  • Creative Daily Challenge ideas to keep kids thinking about each lesson long after they’ve finished reading it
  • Fun activities to involve the whole family in biblical learning and accountability
  • Lessons drawn from favorite Adventures in Odyssey audio dramas
  • Theme puzzles to reinforce the spiritual lessons in thought-provoking ways
  • Whit and Wisdom—Friend and mentor John Avery Whittaker explains important Bible truths in easy-to-understand language
  • Connie’s Corner—Connie relates spiritual applications to her own life
  • Loquacious Learning with Eugene—Odyssey’s favorite intellectual shares important cultural and biblical facts
  • Wandering with Wooton—Musings from the wacky postman on all things licorice and godly

I've been reading this for a month with my son and I've noticed a few things:
1. He has no frame of reference for who the characters are
2. He has been asking questions about the daily stories
3. He has been better behaved and seems to be understanding what we've been teaching

So, yes, I heartily recommend this book. It will be more effective if your kids have any idea who the Adventure in Odyssey characters are, but it will be just fine if they don't.

Each week (13 total) has a theme which the studies will follow and 7 daily lessons. None of them are long at all. Each week has a memory verse to study and learn as well as daily challenges which take the learning deeper than just what's printed in the book.

Every day has an aside from one of the characters and I've noticed that my son really likes Eugene because he loves learning facts and word meanings.

I'm really pleased with this book and will continue to use it and will probably start over at the beginning when we're done!

I received a copy of the book in exchange for a review and participation in a blog tour. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review.