reading: Greater

Image“This book… is for people who sense that God has something more for them but they don’t know what it is. Or they feel stuck and don’t know how to get to where God is calling them to be.” – Steven Furtick

As is pretty typical with books of the “Dream Big” ideology, Furtick uses plenty of pop-culture references and light-hearted, feel-good stories to help make his points. If you’re looking for a back-to-basics study for your small group, or you’re just starting to figure out where God wants you and what He has in store for you, this book is a good place to start. If you’re looking to get out of the shallow end of the pool, you could probably pass on this one.

One of my highest praises for this book, however, is that Furtick doesn’t strictly call people away from their current lives and on to a more successful, faster-paced adventure of a life. While some may see their life as futile, Furtick points out that if God has called us to a place or a position, sometimes it’s the greatest thing that we can be doing at that point. Often, these “non-self help books” call us away from the life that God may have already called us to, instead of evaluating our current situation and realizing the work that God has for us to do in that place.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

reading: Man Alive by Patrick Morley

ImageI’ll be honest, it took me awhile to finish this book. While Patrick Morley has some solid thoughts, insights, and help for men in this current age, it’s very surface-level. I have read several other books recently about how the Church can reach out to men, and what being a Christian man is about. *Man Alive*, while it has a good overall message, just falls towards the bottom of the list in books for this demographic.

However, this book would make a great men’s small group discussion book, especially for men who are newer to the faith, struggling with family issues, or just need some spiritual guidance. There are discussion and reflection questions at the end of each chapter, and the book provides some good reflection material/quizzes throughout.

reading: When Work and Family Collide

 As a new husband, there’s all kinds of things that I don’t know. Just ask my wife.

There’s a lot of things that I do probably wrong, and things that I do backwards, I’m sure. And right now, we have a pretty hectic, crazy schedule that really doesn’t allow us a lot of quality time together. It doesn’t help when we take on one more thing, or when I agree to work another day one week, especially when it’s the day that Alyssa and I get to spend the most time together.

When Work and Family Collide by Andy Stanley was a Godsend book for this time in our life. Stanley talks about how everything in our life – especially work and family – are constantly vying for all of our time. Time is the measurement to both family and co-workers of how much you seem to care. So when family has to give up time because of work, they feel cheated. And vice-versa. The ultimate thesis that Stanley proposes in this book is, “You must choose to cheat at work rather than at home.”

While I wish I would have read this book before marriage, I’m thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to read it before life gets even busier, before demands at work increase, and before I have a career that I genuinely am passionate about. The importance of keeping family in focus, Stanley’s reminder to “do work” and “love family,”and being mindful of priorities are pillars to build a healthy family foundation.

I recommend this book to anyone who is already in a marriage, has kids, or is heading in that direction. It’s a quick read (I read it in 90 minutes) and it’s well worth the time!

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